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Organizers of early voting initiative pushing for special session

The organizers behind an active initiative have joined the call for Governor Tate Reeves to bring lawmakers back to the capitol for a special session. 

The group backing an initiative that aims to create a 10-day early voting period in Mississippi, MEVi78, released a statement this afternoon calling on the Legislature to work quickly to reinstate the initiative process that was torpedoed by the Mississippi Supreme Court’s ruling in the Initiative 65 case last Friday.

 “We know they cannot amend the MS Constitution of 1890, but they can legislate a temporary repair,” Kelly Jacobs, Co-Chair MEVi78, said.

While those pushing the Medicaid expansion initiative announced they were “reluctantly” suspending their campaign, MEVi78 is pushing forward for the time being as they explore their options. MEVi78 is at the final stage in the 2-month vetting process and are awaiting final approval from the Secretary of State’s Office to begin collecting signatures. SOS Michael Watson did recently say that without judicial or legislative intervention or a timely constitutional amendment, it’s “doubtful” that current initiatives will make it to the ballot box in the near future. 

Throughout the week, legislative leaders have offered their opinions on how to proceed as Governor Reeves weighs the decision of calling a special session. Both Speaker of the House Philip Gunn and Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann have stated that, because of the nature of changing the Constitution, a fix for the initiative process would have to be approved by voters which may not take place until the next statewide election—occurring in November 2022. It’s more likely that a special session would be called in order to adopt a medical marijuana program after Initiative 65 was tossed by the court due to language in the code section dealing with citizen-led initiatives. 

MEVi78 announced its intention to participate in the ‘Stand Up for Mississippi Voters’ rally in front of the Supreme Court next Tuesday, May 25th at 11:00 a.m.

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