Lawsuit Calls Mississippi’s Way of Choosing Governors Racist

Mississippi candidates for statewide offices must receive a majority of the popular vote and win at least 62 of the 122 state House of Representatives districts. If no candidate fulfills both requirements, a statewide election is decided by the Mississippi House, as it did in 1999, when Ronnie Musgrove was elected governor.

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Image via Chris Todd/The Clarion-Ledger via AP, File

This article was republished here with permission from The Associated Press, however it is no longer available to read on

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — In 1890, as white politicians across the South cracked down on the black population with Jim Crow laws, Mississippi inserted into its constitution an unusually high bar for getting elected governor or winning any other statewide office. The provision, which remains in force to this day, says candidates must win not only a majority of the popular vote — that is, more than 50% — but also a majority of the…

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