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Shuwaski Young Launches Bid For Mississippi Secretary of State, Vows Easier Voting

JACKSON, Miss.—Democrat Shuwaski Young is running for Mississippi Secretary of State, the Philadelphia, Miss., native announced during a morning press conference on the steps of the Mississippi Capitol. He promised to make voting easier and to investigate welfare-system abuses involving nonprofits and powerful individuals.

Secretary of State Micheal Watson, the Republican incumbent, has not indicated whether he will seek re-election, and his office did not respond to a request for comment at press time.

Young previously ran for election to Mississippi’s 3rd Congressional District in November 2022, but lost to incumbent Republican U.S. House Rep. Michael Guest.

“Mississippi does not have to be known as a voter suppression state,” Young said today. “We can, and we must, change this outlook in our actions and our reputations, which also affect our business endeavors.”

The Democratic candidate noted that Mississippi recorded the lowest voter turnout in the nation during the 2022 midterms, when just 31.5% of eligible voters participated. He said his ideas for changing that include online voter registration and educating voters on disenfranchising crimes.

“We need a more educated electorate when it comes to voting,” Young told the press. “Many folks feel they can’t vote because they’ve been incarcerated.”

Mississippi State Rep. Zakiya Summers, D-Jackson, said she is “looking forward to” the “leadership” of Democrat Shuwaski Young, who announced his run for the Mississippi Secretary of State on the steps of the Mississippi Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023. Photo by Kayode Crown

Last October, the Mississippi Center for Justice asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case in which they are seeking to overturn Mississippi’s Jim-Crow-era felony disenfranchisement law. The MCJ lawyer leading the case, Rob McDuff, called it a “vestige of the malicious 1890 plan to prevent an entire race of people from voting in Mississippi.” The nation’s high court has not yet responded to the petition.

If elected, Young would become the first Black man to serve in statewide-elected office since the 1880s; the last Black Mississippi Secretary of State, Jim Hill, left office in 1878. Mississippi’s 1890 Constitution, which created the felony disenfranchisement law, effectively

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