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Sec. of State Hosemann Condemns Comments by DOJ Employee

By Daniel Cherry | Published 08 May 2012 05:34pm | comments

Mississippi's Secretary of State is calling for disciplinary actions by the U.S. Department of Justice for comments made by an employee. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how the top election official says Mississippi's voter ID law isn't getting a fair shake by the DOJ.

Secretary of State, Delbert Hosemann says U.S. Department of Justice employee, Stephanie Gyamfi, wrote on her Facebook wall, Mississippi should replace the state motto with "Mississippi: Disgusting and Shameful". Gyamfi works in the DOJ's Civil Rights Division's Voting Section, which is responsible for preclearing Mississippi's Voter ID law before it can be implemented. Hosemann, condemned the comments.

"I'm sick of those who don't live here, stereotyping our state. Particularly when they are in a position to approve the right of our state to have an identification at the polls."

In a written statement, the DOJ replied to Hosemann saying Gyamfi will not be allowed to work on matters regarding Mississippi for the time being. Mark Mayfield with the Central Mississippi TEA Party says in any case, the comments show bias within the DOJ.

"I think anybody with any common sense can realize there's a culture of prejudice there in the Justice Department against southern states and against Mississippi."

Secretary of State Hosemann says he's now inclined to file for preclearance in federal court, rather than with the DOJ. Derrick Johnson, President of the Mississippi NAACP says the organization plans to fight voter ID wherever it goes.

"If that takes us to the Justice Department or if that takes us to a D.C. District Court, we will be present to be sure of the integrity of elections, the ability of African Americans and other disenfranchised minorities can exercise their right to vote."

The Justice Department has already denied preclearance for both Texas' and South Carolina's Voter ID laws. 

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