Mississippi: Election lawsuit is not about voting rights

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Attorneys defending Mississippi say a lawsuit challenging the state’s system of choosing a governor is about “partisan politics,” not protecting African Americans’ voting rights.

The election-year lawsuit was filed May 30 by four black plaintiffs with backing from Eric Holder, who was the first African American U.S. attorney general.

It says Mississippi’s 1890 constitution “has its basis in racism,” requiring gubernatorial candidates to win a majority of the popular vote and a majority of the 122 Mississippi House districts. Without both, the election is decided by the House. The system is unique in the U.S.

In court papers Monday, Mississippi’s Republican House speaker and secretary of state said they shouldn’t be sued but Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood should be.

Hood’s running for governor and is not defending the state.

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