MS Election Commissioner ‘Concerned’ That Black Americans Are Registering Voters

JakeThomas

Gail Welch wrote in a Facebook comment that she is "concerned" about "the blacks" holding voter registration events.

Mississippi election commissioner Gail Welch is under fire for a social media comment in which she voiced concern that “the blacks” are holding a lot of voter registration events and suggested that white Mississippians should counter the efforts.

  • According to the Hattiesburg American, Welch posted in a Facebook comment, "I'm concerned about voter registration in Mississippi. The blacks are having lots (of) events for voter registration. People in Mississippi have to get involved, too."
  • Welch, who has served in her post as the Beat 1 commissioner for 20 years, told the newspaper that she had no racist intent in making the comment: "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 also said she thought she was sending a private message and didn’t realize the comment would be posted publicly, telling the publication, "This was an error on my part.”
  • Welch admitted she could have worded her comment better but failed to see why people were upset.

"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."

"A lot of my friends have jumped to my defense, which I really appreciate," she said. "I don't like this kind of stuff. I don't mean anything by it.

"I have worked hard to make sure everybody is registered to vote — Black or white, everybody — that's just how I am."

Sen. Juan Barnett, whose district includes part of Jones County, said Welch’s words gave the impression of racism, regardless whether she meant it.

  • Barnett told the newspaper: "It's those kind of things that people say until somebody brings it to their attention and then it's not what they said or it's not what they meant.”

"I don't know if she is racist or not. But it's the just undertone and stuff of what people say that gives the illusion that that's what you are, based on what was said."

  • Barnett also said that Welch’s words potentially call into question the integrity of the Jones County election commission.

"With people saying that kind of stuff, it makes them question, if this person is over the election, are they really going to run this?" Barnett said. "Are they really going to do what they say they're going to do? It puts that office that you're holding … now there's some credibility issues with that office. Not necessarily with you, but in that office."

Read the full report.

Comments (18)
No. 1-16
Allison L Shaw
Allison L Shaw

"I'm concerned about voter registration in Mississippi. The blacks are having lots (of) events for voter registration. People in Mississippi have to get involved, too."

So, blacks in Mississippi are NOT considered people? And y'all wonder why the rest of America thinks Mississippi is way past backwards. Black Mississippians, all y'all get registered to vote, do whatever you have to do to vote, and make things change for the better down there. Y'all are more than half of the population in much of the state. You have the power to effect change. Make it so. I'm pulling for you!

Alia M Betts
Alia M Betts

SO embarrassing when we don’t realize the WHOLE works just saw what they posted, when it’s totally embarrassing and horrific. Anyone with a brain can see how she thinks about black people. She needs to be replaced. People: Get our there And vote. Let’s get these relics out of office! New blood. Blood of multiple colors!

Bitchkitten
Bitchkitten

This is why people think of the south as backwards. I'm in Texas and I'm so tired of this. Vote! Vote! Vote! We need to get these dinosaurs out.

Efenhel
Efenhel

I for one am about ready to give up on “people” and hope “the blacks” get registered and kick those peoples ass at the polls.

Mrs.Sally
Mrs.Sally

I can respect a person who lives in their truth. What I can't stand are liars. She knew she posted the comment as a comment, just like she meant what she said in the post... she was concerned about "the blacks" voting more than "the whites." WE ALL KNOW that was a sick attempt to dog whistle to white folks. I hope the BLACK residents are paying attention and vote her out with the rest. Come on Mississippi... Come on!

Alecia06
Alecia06

"The blacks"???

Justthinkaboutit
Justthinkaboutit

The “Blacks” are fed up with people like you! It’s time to get her out of that office. Blacks in MS- y’all should demand her resignation NOW!

MrScorpio
MrScorpio

Aren't Black registered voters in Mississippi people too?

Trellous2
Trellous2

She meant it just like she said it.

Sugar10
Sugar10

Thus office should terminate this commissioner she got caught thinking it was a private conversation and makes this office questionable no one who makes discriminating comments like that should not lead anything that has to do with voting also I’m sure there were no past comments about black ppl not voting or registering in the past she claims she was just trying to get ppl to vote she was trying to get white ppl to vote to counter the many black registrations coming in yeah she’s a racist in my opinion!!!

Neveragain
Neveragain

Wow, Mississippi. Are you really going to keep this woman on as an election commissioner? Unbelievable.

liaisonsus
liaisonsus

I am concerned with stupid and ignorant people like her who should not be in the position of power like hers...Incidentally, this inept person should be fired immediately as she is not fit for her position!

liaisonsus
liaisonsus

This person is not qualified for any kind of Government position and should be fired immediately. Black tax payers pay for her wages!

Noitek
Noitek

If I had a nickle for every time one of these morons "apologized" for posting something publicly that they meant to post privately, as if that makes it ok, I could buy the entire country of Scotland.

TruthtoPower
TruthtoPower

That's right...sign them ALL up to vote yo racist a** out of office! Time is up. The change is here.

PNWGlinda8
PNWGlinda8

She tried so hard to back pedal when she realized this comment was public. Too bad, so sad, too late, we see you.


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