ELLISVILLE, MS (WDAM) - The chairman of the Senate Elections Committee is supporting a push for absentee ballot reform in Mississippi and he said a bill could be offered next legislative session. In the wake of the Hattiesburg special mayoral election, Sen. Chris McDaniel said many Mississippians have lost confidence in the voting process and said its time for reform.
On Saturday, Hattiesburg incumbent mayor Johnny Dupree was declared the winner of that election. A judge had called for a new one after irregularities were found in absentee voting in the June general election.
Over the weekend, Gov. Phil Bryant also said he favors reforming the abesentee voting process.
"There are literally dozens of ways to reform the absentee ballot process," said McDaniel. "We've known for years there was fraud in the process. We've known for years there was fraud at the place of voting, even though many Democrats didn't agree with that analysis. We have at least in some respects, corrected the fraud at the voting place, due to voter ID. Now, we've got to take the next step," he said.
Meanwhile, Sen. McDaniel is placing the blame for the the federal government shutdown squarely on the shoulders of President Obama and the Democrats. He says the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is bad law and he supports Republican efforts to defund it.
"The people have spoken...they do not want Obamacare funded, period," McDaniel said. "It's a bad bill. But, we're to the point now where we have to recognize we're not here to make Obamacare more transparent or to make it more efficient. Obamacare needs to die. We need to put a stake through its heart. The defunding mechanism is the exact way to take care of it," he said.
Sen. McDaniel was in Ellisville Tuesday to speak to College Republicans at Jones County Junior College.