MS GOP Elections Official Clutches Pearls Over ‘Woke’ Students Being ‘Forced’ To Vote

PITTSBURGH, UNITED STATES - 2020/11/03: University of Pittsburgh students with Biden/Harris signs and stickers.On the University of Pittsburgh campus many students organizing get out the vote campaigns through signs, stickers, and text messaging their friends during the United States Election Day. (Photo by Aaron Jackendoff/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
University of Pittsburgh students at a “get out the vote” campaign on campus on November 3, 2020. (Photo by Aaron Jackendoff/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson (R) is deeply troubled by the fascist notion that it should be easier for students to vote.

In a local TV interview resurfaced by the Mississippi Free Press on Tuesday, Watson falsely claimed that President Joe Biden’s executive order on bolstering voting access meant that federal agencies and universities were directed to “register as many folks as they can via this automatic voter registration.”

In reality, the order says nothing about automatic voter registration or college students. Yet Watson went on to characterize it as government tyranny burdening the beleaguered youths with, uh, easier access to the polls, particularly those who are “woke” (GOP curse word for left-wing).

“Think about all those woke college and university students now who will automatically be registered to vote whether they wanted to or not,” the elections official lamented. “Again, if they didn’t know to opt-out, they’re going to be automatically registered to vote and then they receive this mail-in ballot that they didn’t even probably know was coming because they didn’t know they were registered to vote.”

“You’ve got an uninformed citizen who may not be prepared and ready to vote,” he continued. “Automatically, it’s forced on them: ‘Hey, go make a choice.'”

“Our country’s going to pay for those choices,” Watson added, making more explicit the true cause for his paternalistic concern: People being allowed to vote for things he doesn’t like.

The official’s handwringing over students being empowered to vote underscores a less discussed dimension to the GOP’s voter suppression efforts. Apparently believing, as Watson does, that most college students vote liberal, state Republicans are pushing several means of blocking students’ access to the ballot.

Some measures include ID requirements that try to bar students from out of state to vote in their school’s state, restrictions on what kind of student IDs may be used when voting, and polling place requirements that disqualify universities as voting sites.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Sincerely,
TPM Staff
Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: