A federal lawsuit seeking to strike down Mississippi’s method of electing statewide officials by asserting that it’s racially discriminatory has been filed in court.
The lawsuit brought Thursday by several African American residents challenges the state’s nationally unique requirement that the governor and top officials win both a majority of the statewide vote and a majority of the 122 state House districts. If that doesn’t happen, the election is decided by members of the House.
The lawsuit says the provision from the 1890 constitution is designed to make it harder for African Americans to win elections.
No black candidate has been elected to a statewide office since the requirement took effect.
The lawsuit is backed by an affiliate of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.