2019 Voter Reform Legislative Agenda

NO-EXCUSE EARLY VOTING: HB 1000 - REFERRED TO HOUSE APPORTIONMENT & ELECTIONS. SB 2026 - REFERRED TO SENATE ELECTIONS & AET.

Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy. Unfortunately, access to the voting polls in Mississippi is limited. Absentee voting in Mississippi requires an application process and a valid excuse for voting before Election Day. This legislation will create no-excuse early voting in Mississippi, which has been shown to improve both election administration and voter satisfaction. No-excuse early voting would allow courthouses to open for 14 days (excluding Sundays) prior to Election Day.

Status: Died in committee.

ONLINE VOTER REGISTRATION: HB 690 & HB 927 - REFERRED TO HOUSE APPORTIONMENT & ELECTIONS. SB 2025 - REFERRED TO SENATE ELECTIONS & AET.

Paper-based voter registration is the biggest election administration problem in Mississippi. The current system relies on forms with illegible and incomplete information. This legislation will authorize online voter registration for first-time voters in Mississippi. Providing online registration will supplement the current process while increasing access, expanding the electorate, and significantly reducing the possibility for registration errors.

Status: Died in committee.



PRE-TRIAL VOTING: HB 787 - REFERRED TO HOUSE APPORTIONMENT & ELECTIONS.

In Mississippi, more than half of the current county jail population is sitting behind bars not yet convicted of a crime. These individuals still have the right to vote. The ACLU of Mississippi is advocating for legislation to make absentee voting more accessible for pretrial detainees not convicted of a disenfranchising crime. This amendment offers a simple solution of inserting a clause for those who have been detained pretrial and not yet convicted, therefore are unable to vote in-person before a circuit clerk or at a precinct on Election Day, and removes the notary requirement.

Status: Died in committee.


Here are the Voting Rights bills we're tracking this legislative session:

Support

HB 119 - Mississippi Department of Human Services employees; remove prohibition on participating in political campaigns for. 

This bill would have repealed a law that prevents state or county welfare employees from participating in political campaigns. All citizens regardless of employment should be able to fully participate in democracy. 

Status: Died in committee.

HB 423 - Automatic voter registration; authorize for those who apply for the issuance, renewal or change of address of a driver’s license.

This bill would have created a system that would automatically register those eligible to vote upon their application for a Driver’s License or ID card.

Status: Died in committee.

HB 450 - Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote; create. 
 
This bill would have effectively ended the process of selecting the President by Electoral College. The ACLU opposes the Electoral College.
 

Status: Died in committee.

HB 215, HB 476, HB 955, HB 985, HB 1027, SB 2508 - Suffrage; provide restoration upon meeting certain criteria.
All of these bills would have restored the right to vote to individuals who had committed crimes upon the completion of certain conditions. As it stands now, Mississippians convicted of a laundry list of felonies lose the right to vote permanently. We support legislation that provides Mississippians with prior felony convictions the ability to regain the right to vote upon complete of their sentence.
 

Status: Died in committee.

HB 491, HB 998, HB 1000, HB 1001 - Early voting; require Secretary of State to authorize for overseas military.
 
These bills would have created no-excuse, early voting in Mississippi, which have shown to improve both election administration and voter satisfaction in the 37 states that have it. Advancing reforms to expand access helps to ensure that all eligible Mississippians who want to cast a ballot and participate in our elections are able to do so.

HB 491 - An act to amend section 23-15-169.4, Mississippi code of 1972, to require the secretary of state to create rules and regulations that allow uniformed services voters to vote early for elections, special elections and run-offs; to bring forward sections 23-15-677, 23-15-693, 23-15-699 and 23-15-701, Mississippi code of 1972, which provide election procedures for uniformed services and overseas voters; and for related purposes.

Status: Died in committee.

HB 637 - Voter enfranchisement; create joint legislative study committee on. 
 
This bill will create a committee that will study potential policy or changes to the law that will restore the right to vote to former nonviolent felony offenders. We support legislation that is likely to create smart policies regarding felony disenfranchisement.   
 
Status: Transmitted to Senate.
 
HB 999 - Pre-election day voting and online voter registration; authorize.
 
The more people who vote, the better Mississippi will be. Election reform that expands access to the ballot box helps move our democracy forward.
 

Status: Died in committee.

HB 1028, SB 2025 - Online voter registration; revise to allow for first time voters to register through.
 
These bills would have established a process for first-time voters to register online. An online voter registration system expands access to voting for all citizens. In this digital age, availing voter registration online is critical to moving democracy forward.
 

Status: Died in committee.


Oppose

 
SB 2237 - Public office; persons convicted of certain crimes are ineligible to qualify as a candidate for or be appointed to.


This bill will automatically disenfranchise citizens who have already paid their debt to society and seek to engage in the our electoral process.

Status: Referred to House Apportionment & Elections Committee.


Neutral

HB 455 - Voter rolls; prohibit purging names from Statewide Elections Management System 120 days or less before the date of any election. 

This bill would have prohibited the purging of voters 120 days before elections, extending the deadline that county officials have to purge voters from the rolls. The ACLU believes that purges of voter rolls is a voter suppression measure. 

Status: Died in committee.

SB 2030 - Elections; impose residency requirements to run for certain offices. 
 
This bill would codify residency requirements for city and county offices at two years, and five years for transportation and agriculture commissioners and district attorney.
 

Status: Referred to House Apportionment and Elections Committee.

 

 

Stay informed

ACLU of Mississippi is part of a network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National