2001 Regular Session
To: Apportionment and Elections
By: Representative Espy
House Bill 955
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 23-15-37, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ENHANCE OPPORTUNITIES FOR COLLEGE AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO REGISTER TO VOTE; TO REQUIRE THE REGISTRAR OF EACH COUNTY TO VISIT EACH PUBLIC OR PRIVATE HIGH SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY, OR COMMUNITY OR JUNIOR COLLEGE IN THE COUNTY, FOR THE PURPOSE OF REGISTERING TO VOTE ANY PERSON WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO VOTE IN THE COUNTY, REQUIRE THAT THE REGISTRAR OF EACH PUBLIC OR PRIVATE UNIVERSITY OR COMMUNITY OR JUNIOR COLLEGE INCLUDE A MAIL-IN APPLICATION TO REGISTER TO VOTE IN THE MATERIALS DISTRIBUTED TO STUDENTS AT THE TIME THAT THEY REGISTER TO ATTEND THE INSTITUTION OR COLLEGE; TO PROVIDE A STIPEND FOR REGISTRARS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 23-15-37, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
23-15-37. (1) The registrar shall keep his books open at his office and shall register the electors of his county at any time during regular office hours.
(2) The registrar may keep his office open for registration of voters from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., including the noon hour, for the five (5) business days immediately preceding the thirtieth day prior to any regularly scheduled primary or general election. The registrar may also keep his office open from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon on the Saturday immediately preceding the thirtieth day prior to any regularly scheduled primary or general election.
(3) The registrar, or any deputy registrar duly appointed by law, may visit and spend such time as he may deem necessary at any location in his county, selected by the registrar not less than thirty (30) days before an election, for the purpose of registering voters.
(4) A person who is physically disabled and unable to visit the office of the registrar to register to vote due to such disability may contact the registrar and request that the registrar or his deputy visit him for the purpose of registering such person to vote. The registrar or his deputy shall visit such person as soon as possible after such request and provide such person with an application for registration, if necessary. The completed application for registration shall be executed in the presence of the registrar or his deputy.
(5) The registrar of each county shall visit each public and private high school in the county at least twice during each calendar year for the purpose of registering to vote any person who is eligible to vote in the county, provided that the private high schools permit admission by the registrar for this purpose. The registrar shall provide to each public or private high school a sufficient number of mail-in applications to register to vote, so that a mail-in application may be included in the materials distributed to students attending such schools reaching the age of eighteen (18) years in the calendar year in question.
SECTION 2. Effective October 1, 2001, the registrar shall receive a stipend of One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00) for providing the services of school visits required by this act.
SECTION 3. The registrar of each public or private institution of higher learning and of each community or junior college shall include a mail-in application to register to vote in any materials distributed to students at the time that they register to attend the institution or college.
SECTION 4. The Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall submit this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United States or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.