NAACP Objects to Post-Annexation Ward Lines

The Meridian-Lauderdale County NAACP has filed a protest with the U.S Department of Justice of Meridian's voting wards for the 2009 municipal elections.

Chapter president, the Rev. Milton Johnson, says one of the organization's concerns is with the recently annexed area in north Meridian.

"We felt that there was an underscoring reason for the annexation," said Johnson. "Knowing that the annexation would put 1800 voters, registered Republican voters, on the rolls. We want redistricting lines to be looked at again."

Johnson says the NAACP's concern is that the addition of the new voters was at least partially designed to swing the vote.

"It's now time for the resources that are sent to Lauderdale County to be dispersed among all of the communities of Lauderdale County, not just favored areas," Johnson said.

Meridian's chief administrative officer, Ken Storms, said the NAACP's letter to federal officials is riddled with errors and the city can prove it.

Storms said the black and white voting age populations in the city changed only between 1 and 2 percent with the annexation.

"We followed the law, because the law says that if your next primary election is less than six months away from the execution date or the implementation date of your annexation, then you must do it this way. And that is fold it into the next one (ward)," said Storms. "After that election, then you do the redistricting and that's what we've got in mind."

Storms said Ward 1 currently has more voters than other ward, but that will be corrected when all ward lines ore redrawn, based on results of the 2010 Census.

Although the upcoming election will continue as scheduled, Johnson says officials from the Justice Department have agreed to monitor the proceedings.

The NAACP is planning a series of political forums for candidates. The first will be held at the EMEPA auditorium Apr. 23 at 7 p.m. Organizers say all candidates for office in the city of Meridian are being invited and citizens may ask questions.

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  • by Amanda Location: Meridian on Mar 7, 2009 at 06:37 PM
    The NAACP needs to go and do some community work in Africa and stop playing the race card. I think the residents in Eagle Point are not concerned with this stupid issue. It doesn't matter how you vote, our country is screwed for the next four years and possibly eight!
  • by ed Location: meridian on Mar 7, 2009 at 03:06 PM
    here is the funny thing here he said it was to have more republican voters now and the thing is it was the Democrats that did this.. lol... personally wish they left it all alone this has been such a mess even before it started from road repair to county depts. and city... but all for the glory so meridian can get its hands on the taxes to balance out what they had messed up... well as i said you want a different outcome change the equation... and seeing as i see things looks liek that isnt changing soon.. see the woman that is running for mayor her husband is on the board.. like i said never changes here in the south...
  • by Joseph Location: Annexed Republican Area on Mar 6, 2009 at 08:43 PM
    Until black and white people get past black and white, our entire society will continue to suffer. What would response be if the area were predominately black, democrat, and being condemned by the National Association for the Alliance of Caucasian People (NAACP)? The argument would be just as stupid!! Grow up NAACP and come into the 21st century.
  • by Mike 222 Location: Mobile on Mar 6, 2009 at 04:04 PM
    Nice to know some things have not changed since I left home, those idiots at the NAA(L)CP continue playing the race card!!
  • by Concerned Citizen Location: Meridian, MS on Mar 6, 2009 at 03:53 PM
    I'm sure the only reason for the annexation was the "Registered Republican Voters" nevermind the property taxes that come with it. How in the world can anyone assume that these 1800 people are registered or Republican? This is a DESPERATE move originating from a candidate who from the sound of things has little to no support from the newly-annexed voters. People of Meridian - regardless of which candidate you support, I implore you to delve into what they stand for, and HOW they campaign.
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