Justice Department Gives O.K. for City Elections

The U.S. Department of Justice has no objection to the way newly annexed Meridian residents were apportioned to adjacent wards.

In March, the Meridian/Lauderdale County chapter of the NAACP requested federal officials monitor the municipal elections, saying it believed the annexation and apportionment of those residents to Wards 1, 2 and 4 was designed to try to influence the election.

"Bottom line, since the next primary election was within a 6-month window from the date of implementation of the annexation by the Supreme Court, we were requested to designate polling places and put people in wards for voting purposes for this next election and we did that," said chief administrative officer, Ken Storms.

In its letter to the city, the Justice Department also noted that, although the U.S. Attorney General does not object to the changes in wards and polling places, that does not bar potential litigation from complainants who may object.

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