The harms of House Bill 1310 include third-party election auditing and multiple forms of voter purging.

The bill would disenfranchise voters by forcing election commissioners to remove voters from the voter rolls for simply choosing not to vote in an election. HB 1310 removes registered Mississippi voters from the voting rolls if they fail to vote in two federal elections within two years. These voters will be sent a confirmation notice and placed on inactive status, meaning they will be required to cast an affidavit ballot rather than a regular ballot on election day. If they ultimately fail to respond to the confirmation notice, they will be purged from the voting rolls. 

Additionally, HB 1310 would use outdated databases in an attempt to identify non-citizens as registered voters. This bill also proposes using public dollars to fund election audits and encourages third-party audits, which are not very secure.

Fundamentally, the right to vote should not be a “use it or lose it” policy. Attempts to purge non-citizens from Mississippi’s voter rolls are solutions searching for a problem. And audits meant to encourage election transparency must be fully secure. As one of the few states with neither online voter registration nor no-excuse early voting, Mississippi consistently ranks amongst the most difficult states to vote in the nation. This harmful bill will continue that legacy by further disenfranchising Mississippi voters.

House Bill 1310 is ripe for litigation against the state and should not become law in Mississippi. We strongly oppose HB 1310 and all voter purging measures—Mississippi lawmakers should not be allowed put their constituent's right to vote on the line. A better use of taxpayer dollars is policies and procedures that expand access to voting through online voter registration and early voting. 

Learn more about online voter registration and early voting here.