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YDMS respond to Secretary of State Michael Watson’s comments about college students

For immediate Release:

Young Democrats of Mississippi respond to Secretary of State Michael Watson’s comments about automatic registration for college students

Jackson, MS, April 8, 2021 -- A video clip recently revealed Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson commenting that he does not support more “Woke”, “Uninformed” college students registering to vote. Watson was making an appearance on a local coast news station, WLOX to provide commentary on H.R. 1: “For the People Act of 2021”—a bill aimed at stopping voter suppression. Instead of providing actual facts of the legislation, Secretary Watson decided to use his time on the show to spread misinformation, and share his beliefs that college students are not prepared or ready to vote.

We are extremely troubled by Secretary Watson’s statements and his views about increased voting access for young people. As Mississippi’s Chief Elections Officer, Secretary Watson should be championing efforts to update our election systems here in Mississippi, and processes to help make it easier for our citizens—including young people—to participate in our democracy. Our top election official should be a trusted source for voters, not one who spreads misinformation and pushes partisan charged talking points on TV.

The Young Democrats of Mississippi prioritizes young people under the age of 36 to participate in the electoral process. We believe that once you become of age, voting is a right that no elected official should discourage or prevent you from exercising.

Secretary Watson’s comments about young people in this state are baffling and disrespectful. We encourage him to visit one of our amazing colleges or universities to see the quality of students our state has to offer. Young people are the future of our state, and whether he likes it or not, we will continue to fight for a better Mississippi.


Jarrius Adams, President



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