FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JACKSON, Miss - Today, House Bill 1310, an obscene attack on voting rights in Mississippi, was sent to Governor Tate Reeves for signing.
Under this bill, if a voter chooses to not vote in just one election, that voter is sent a notification card and moved to an inactive voter list.
Mississippians placed in inactive status can no longer cast their ballot under the normal process, and must instead cast their vote via affidavit ballot. If voters ultimately fail to respond to the confirmation notice or choose not to vote over a 4-year span, they will be purged from the voting rolls.
As lawmakers debated HB 1310, the bill’s author admitted there are no current systems in place to protect active-duty military personnel, even deployed Mississippians, from being moved to inactive status or even purged from the voting rolls.
The original bill that passed the Senate and House did not have these provisions. They were added in a conference report written in private, with no debate, no hearings, and no explanation.
The ACLU of Mississippi released the following statement:
"Even by the standards of the Mississippi Legislature, this back-door attack on voting rights is disgraceful.
'Voting is a right. It is also your right to not vote,' ACLU of Mississippi Executive Director Jarvis Dortch commented. 'Mississippians shouldn’t be punished for choosing not to vote. This bill is a direct attempt to disenfranchise voters in a state that consistently ranks as one of the most difficult places to vote in the nation.'"