4/12/21 - Variants and Vaccines | Your Vote, Your Voice - Part 1 | Initiative 76
Health leaders provide updates on coronavirus vaccinations and transmission in the state.
Then, in the first installment of our Your Vote, Your Voice series, we examine the basic voting requirements in Mississippi.
Plus, a coalition including the NAACP is leading the drive to put Medicaid expansion on the ballot.
Overall coronavirus transmission in Mississippi is down this spring compared to the surge in cases earlier this year. But the threat of emerging variants in the U.S. has health officials expressing some caution. State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers says transmission of those variants - especially the U.K. variant - in other states is starting to have an effect. Reports show the state's vaccination rates lagging behind the national average. State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says there is a perception that Mississippi is struggling more than actually is.
Voting is the cornerstone of the United States' representative democracy, and each individual state has incredible power to determine how its residents participate in the voting process. In the first installment of Your Vote, Your Voice, we examine the basic voting requirements in Mississippi. Secretary of State Michael Watson joins our Michael Guidry to examine the year-to-year elections in the Magnolia State, and the procedures for registering for and casting your vote.
Mississippi is the poorest state in the nation with the lowest health outcomes. And the state is one of more than a dozen in the nation that has punted on expanding Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act - a move that would provide health coverage for Mississippi's working poor. Now, a coalition is forming to put the decision in the hands of the voters. Healthcare for Mississippi, a non-profit of around 15 advocacy groups - including the NAACP - has filed the preliminary paperwork to put Initiative 76 on the ballot. Corey Wiggins is Executive Director of the Mississippi Chapter of the NAACP. He tells our Desare Frazier advocates have lobbied lawmakers to expand Medicaid, but there isn’t enough legislative support. So he wants to help give residents a voice in the matter.