MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Despite long lines on election day, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves announced Thursday, that he will never support early voting or universal mail-in voting in his state.
Unlike neighboring Arkansas and Tennessee, Mississippi doesn’t have early voting. And only those over age 65 can vote by absentee ballot.
Even after seeing long lines on Election Day, and being well aware his constituents waited up to 3 hours to vote, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves announced he has no plans to change the state’s election process.
From polling places near Jackson to precincts in Olive Branch, the excitement of Election Day in Mississippi mixed with frustration about lines that wrapped around buildings or down streets.
Wait times for voters in DeSoto County were too often hours instead of minutes.
While many other states offer early voting or absentee voting for all, Mississippi does not. And less than 48 hours after more than a million Mississippi voters stood in line to vote, Governor Tate Reeves made a declaration on twitter.
“Based on what I see in other states today,” he tweeted, “I will do everything in my power to make sure universal mail-in voting and no-excuse early voting are not allowed in Mississippi - not while I’m governor. Too much chaos.”
Reaction on social media was swift and sharp:
“Pitiful excuse for a governor,” Ann Carolyn Cates posted to Facebook, “My 80 year old husband did not need to stand outside in the parking lot from 7am until 9:15am to get to vote. Have a heart governor."
”I disagree with him,' Mississippi voter Chuck Rogers said, “If we aren’t going to implement that, we need more polling places and more workers,”
But as America waits days for results in the Presidential election, with millions of absentee ballots being counted and protestors taking to the streets, some Mississippians see Gov Reeve’s point.
“I agree with him. Look at how it’s turned out everywhere this time,” Dale Besinger posted.
“As long as it keeps fraud from happening,” Joey Hubble said, “then I’m ok with standing in line for 2 hours. It wasn’t that bad, honestly.”
Adding to the long wait for Mississippi voters: many polling places were changed and consolidated with other locations. The result: lines that stretched as far as the eye could see.