Alleged Facebook post from Dept. of Justice employee raises concern
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
As major legislative actions in Mississippi like redistricting and voter ID hinge on approval from the Department of Justice, whether the state gets a fair review is being called into question, thanks to facebook.
According to a blogger from PJ Media, a woman by the name of Stephanie Celandine Gyamfi allegedly posted a comment on the site which reads "disgusting and shameful. Hey, that should replace the state motto... Mississippi: Disgusting and Shameful... Forget the magnolia state motto."
On the Department of Justice website, Gyamfi is one of the people responsible for reviewing whether voting changes meet the requirements of Section Five of the Voting Rights Act.
Three on your side contacted the department and even reached out to Gyamfi about the alleged comment, but no response has been given.
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann says he is aware of the post but isn't quite ready to make a public statement on what it could mean for Mississippi.
"I have spoken to the Department of Justice immediately, so I think I'll wait for a day or so before and give me time to cool down," said Hosemann.
Voter ID already passed through the legislature, while redistricting maps await final approval from lawmakers.
"I saw some real improvement here. I think they made good steps with the house plan," said Hosemann.
Hosemann had not yet reviewed the plan from the senate but hopes the house plan will sail through the approval process, which leaves the question of will the state have to have a new election for the new districts. Hosemann says he hopes not.
"Those elections are expensive, sometimes a statewide election can cost $2 million," said Hosemann.
Lawmakers like Rep. Bobby Shows say last year's elections were for four year terms and that's how it should stay.
"If we did run again it's not going to change the makeup all that much so I would say stay where we're at until the next regular election time comes up," said Shows.
A set of three judges will be the deciding factor on that, but nothing will happen without that approval from the Department of Justice.