JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson (R-Miss.) came under fire for his recent controversial comments about college-aged voters.

He referred to college students as “woke” and “uninformed” while voicing his opposition to the “For The People Act” during an interview in March with WLOX. The act expands access to the ballot box and is said to reduce the influence of big money and politics.

Many called his comments insulting and said they echoed a specific rhetoric with a well-known racist history.

“I think the important thing to know is we’ve been on college campuses all over the state registering voters. I think those comments were probably taken out of context. Our job is to make sure that every Mississippian who is a United States citizen, who is a legal resident has the ability to vote. I want every Mississippian who is 18 and above, who is competent, who is a United States citizen be able to vote,” Watson said on Wednesday.