Fight over MS primary ballot could head to U.S. Supreme Court

Fight over MS primary ballot could head to U.S. Supreme Court
Dr. Willie Wilson (Photo source: Twitter)

MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - When voters go the polls for Mississippi's primary on March 8, there will be one more name on the ballot.

Thursday, the Mississippi Supreme Court ordered the Secretary of State to add Dr. Willie Wilson to the Democratic ballot.

The fight could now be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wilson, a businessman from Chicago, sued after the Mississippi Democratic Party and the Secretary of State left him off the ballot.

The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that since Wilson submitted all his paperwork on time, his petition should have never been rejected.

WLOX spoke with Wilson on the phone Thursday afternoon, moments after the Court ruled in his favor.

"We're on these ballots, I'm happy, I'm excited about it, because now we get a chance to represent some of the other people in this country that need to have a side to be told and be discussed," said Wilson.

The Supreme Court ordered the Secretary of State to add Wilson's name to all electronic and paper ballots, but he will not be listed on absentee ballots.. because those have already been sent to military and overseas voters.

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said adding Wilson's name to the ballot will cost citizens hundreds of thousands of dollars. He plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, on the grounds that the ruling discriminates against military voters since they'll have a different ballot than those who vote at the polls on March 8.

Here is Hosemann's full statement:

 "The Mississippi Supreme Court has ordered a change to the Presidential Democratic Primary Ballot twelve (12) days before the election because the Mississippi Democratic Party violated an Illinois citizen's due process to be on the Presidential Democratic Party Primary Ballot.  Now all our citizens, Democrat, Republican and Independent will have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for their mistake.  Thousands of absentee ballots have already been issued. 

 Even more egregious is the fact the Mississippi Supreme Court ordered military overseas voters must keep the old Democratic ballot.  So a United States soldier in Afghanistan is not entitled to use the same ballot on election day as his or her neighbor in Mississippi.  That sickens me.

On behalf of all of our military voters, I intend to appeal this matter directly to the United States Supreme Court.

I went to Afghanistan and Iraq in a prior Presidential election just to ensure this type of discrimination against the military would never occur.  I would never have dreamed it would happen here, and I intend to fight this ruling."

According to The Associated Press, Wilson will join four other candidates on the Democratic ballot in Mississippi: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Roque 'Rocky' De La Fuente, and Martin O'Malley.

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