An election commissioner in Mississippi claims her intent wasn’t to be racist despite posting on Facebook that she was concerned because “the Blacks” are having lots of voter registration events.
According to a report from the Clarion Ledger, Jones County election commissioner Gail Harrison Welch is now pushing back at people who have questioned the integrity of the election commission where she serves after she made the comments on social media last week.
“I don’t mean anything by it,” she told the Clarion-Ledger. “I have worked hard to make sure everybody is registered to vote — Black or white, everybody — that’s just how I am.”
Why the concern at Black people registering to vote then? And the implication that there is a distinction between “blacks” and “people in Mississippi?”
Welch also defended herself by saying she had meant to make the comment in a private message, which additionally undercuts her meaningless excuse that she didn’t intend for her post to seem racist.
From the Clarion-Ledger:
“We’ve always in the past had whites really participating in registering to vote. So many people don’t seem to be concerned about (voting).”
She said in an interview Monday that she thought she was sending a private message, but the comment was shared publicly on Facebook.
“This was an error on my part,” she said.
Welch said she would like to see more people register to vote, no matter their race.
“I was just trying to strike a match under people and get them to vote — to get everybody to vote,” she said. “This was not intended to be anything.”
Despite all of one Mississippi lawmaker coming out against Welch’s comments, as of today she still holds a position of electoral oversight in a county made up of almost 30% Black residents—and in an election year when racial equity will definitely be on the ballot.