More Republican ballot box bullshit:
Over the objection of state Attorney General Jim Hood, the state sample ballot to be used in the November general election will have the U.S. Senate race between Ronnie Musgrove and Roger Wicker at the end of the ballot.
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann recommended to Gov. Haley Barbour today during a meeting of the state Election Commission that the special election between Musgrove, a Democrat, and Wicker, a Republican, be placed at the end of the ballot.
Barbour approved the recommendation.
All in all, this is a pretty brazen move designed to discourage first-time voters — many of which are expected to be African-American Obama Democrats — from casting a ballot in the state’s hotly-contested Senate special election. Barbour and the boys really went to great pains in order to hide this race at the tail end of the ballot.
Full statement from the Ronnie Musgrove campaign after the jump.
UPDATE: A local judge has blocked the ballots from being distributed after a restraining order was filed by Pike County Election Commissioner Trudy Berger earlier this afternoon.
Secretary of State Presents Unlawful Ballot, Buries US Senate Race in Ballot
Secretary Hosemann Unable to Cite any Statute to Move Race from Top
Jackson, MS- Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann today presented an unlawful sample ballot which buries the special US Senate race between Governor Ronnie Musgrove and interim US Senator Roger Wicker. The ballot was approved by Governor Haley Barbour.
Hosemann buried the Musgrove-Wicker race below all local races near the bottom of the ballot.
Hosemann could cite no statue supporting his decision to move the race from the top of the ballot. However, Attorney General Jim Hood did cite election law requiring federal races be placed at the top of the ballot.
“We will win this election no matter where the Secretary of State puts it on the ballot,” Tim Phillips, Musgrove for Senate campaign manager said. “But this is about the law and they don’t get to make up their own laws.”
The unlawful ballot is expected to cause confusion for voters expecting to find the Musgrove-Wicker race with other federal elections where it belongs. The most prominent election in the state will be one of the hardest races to find on Election Day.
Mississippi election law, code 23-15-367, clearly states federal races, like the Musgrove-Wicker race, belong on the top of the ballot.