Sen. Cochran Only ‘Listening’ To Voting Rights Act Fix Proposal

June 28, 2014 10:56 a.m.

As of now, it doesn’t look like Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) will sign on to legislation that would reinstate a key provision of the Voting Rights Act gutted by the Supreme Court.

The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent reached out to Cochran’s office to ask if the incumbent senator would support legislation that would reinstate Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Section 5 mandated that certain states that had a history of racial bias had get federal government approval to make changes to voting.

Cochran spokesman Chris Gallegos told Sargent that the senator is “listening” about the fix to the Voting Rights Act. Gallegos also pointed Sargent to a previous email about the Supreme Court’s decision:

It does appear that Tuesday’s election generally went smoothly, even as the state implemented its new voter ID law. Mississippi election officials deserve credit. The Senator would concur with Senator Rand Paul who recently said, “I’m for more people voting, not less people voting.

The question of whether Cochran would support the legislation has recently gotten attention since the incumbent senator courted black voters in Mississippi to help him stave off a primary challenge from Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R). Cochran was able to defeat McDaniel in the runoff election of the U.S. Senate race. Cochran, as Sargent noted, had been very vocal in encouraging as many voters, not just Republicans, to vote in the runoff:

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I think it’s important for everybody to participate. Voting rights has been an issue of great importance in Mississippi. People have really contributed a lot of energy and effort to making sure the political process is open to everyone.

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