Monday, November 13, 2006

Disenfranchisement in Mississippi

During one of the local (Jackson, MS) newscasts this past week I heard the anchor say something to the effect of: “All those over 18 years of age and registered to vote, except for criminals with felonies, can vote Tuesday.” (paraphrasing). This is an incorrect generalization concerning the felonies. In MS you can be convicted of quite a few felonies and still be able to vote. The only disenfranchising convictions in MS are :

1. murder
2. rape
3. bribery
4. theft
5. arson
6. obtaining money or goods under false pretense
7. perjury
8. forgery
9. embezzlement
10. bigamy.

This is an exclusive list set out in Sec. 241 of the Mississippi Constitution.

Additionally the only way to reestablish this right in Mississippi is through a pardon from the governor or appropriate action by the legislature. 23-15-19 in the Code also recognizes this as the exclusive list and those convicted of the above crimes are not allowed to register to vote, taking the problem out of the hands of poll workers and relying on the county’s circuit clerk to purge the rolls appropriately.

As always we welcome discussion and any questions you might have about MS law.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can no longer stomach watching our local newscasts.

I'm a tax paying Jackson resident who is sick of the nightly sensationalism downing the city.

Per the US Census 2005 projections Jackson, the city, has shrunk to about 38% of the total MSA population. Yet the local newscasts will feature the most minor of crimes committed in Jackson on any given day though undoubtedly similar, or worse, crimes were also committed by someone, somewhere amongst the other 288,000+ residents who comprise the 62% majority of the MSA.

WAPT is the biggest offender. Furthermore the DMA of the locals encompasses far more territory than just the tri-counties, covering 328,000+ households, here is WAPT's signal coverage for example, and yet every single infraction in Jackson is placed under their critical crime-is-rampant-in-Jackson microscope.

Crime in Jackson sells. People, other than criminals, are getting rich from the crime coverage of Jackson.