2004 Regular Session
To: Spec Cmte for Elec Cont of Senate Seats
By: Senator(s) Burton
A RESOLUTION TO ADOPT A REMEDY TO THE ELECTION CONTEST FOR MISSISSIPPI SENATE DISTRICT 29 OF THE MISSISSIPPI STATE SENATE.
WHEREAS, on or about November 25, 2003, the Hinds County Commissioners of Election certified the election of Dwayne Thomas as Senator for Mississippi Senate District 29; and
WHEREAS, on December 5, 2003, Richard White filed with the Secretary of the Senate a Petition to Contest the Election for Mississippi State Senate District 29; and
WHEREAS, Section 38, Mississippi Constitution of 1890, provides that each house of the Legislature "...shall judge of the qualifications, return and election of its own members"; and
WHEREAS, Section 23-15-955 provides that the legislative resolution of election contests involving Senate and House of Representative seats "...shall be conducted in accordance with procedures and precedents established by the House of Representatives or the Senate as the case may be. Such procedures and precedents may be found in the Journals of the House of Representatives and of the State Senate and/or in the published Rules of the House of Representatives and of the State Senate"; and
WHEREAS, on January 6, 2004, the Senate adopted Senate Resolution No. 2 which established a special committee and charged it with the duty of investigating and proposing to the Senate a remedy to the election contest for District 29 in the form of a resolution; and
WHEREAS, on January 7, 2004, pursuant to Senate Resolution No. 2, the Lieutenant Governor appointed Senators Burton (Chairman), Doxey, Hyde-Smith, Posey and Robertson to serve on the Special Committee to Investigate the Election Contest for Senate District 29 of the Mississippi Senate; and
WHEREAS, on January 8, 2004, the Special Committee met, organized and scheduled hearings on the election contest for Senate District 29 to begin on January 14, 2004; and
WHEREAS, the Special Committee conducted public hearings on the election contest from Wednesday, January 14, 2004, through Friday, January 16, 2004; and
WHEREAS, the parties to the election contest were ably represented by counsel who presented facts and legal argument to the Special Committee; and
WHEREAS, numerous witnesses were called to testify at the hearing and these witnesses were examined by counsel and the members of the Special Committee;
WHEREAS, the Special Committee to Investigate the Election Contest for Senate District 29 of the Mississippi Senate has concluded its hearing into the election contest and has filed a report with the Secretary of the Senate as required by Senate Resolution No. 2, 2004 Regular Session, that contains the relevant facts of the contest, Mississippi law that is involved in the election contest, the findings of the committee and the recommendations of the committee; and
WHEREAS, the Special Committee to Investigate the Election Contest for Senate District 29 of the Mississippi Senate has concluded in its report thatas a result of the numerous errors that the committee found in the conduct of the November 4, 2003, General Election, the committee finds that it is impossible to determine the will of the voters in Senate District 29:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That because it is impossible to determine the will of the electorate in the Senate District 29 General Election, the Senate finds that the Honorable Dwayne Thomas cannot be seated as a member of the Senate and hereby orders that a Special Election shall be held by the Hinds County Election Commission for the office of State Senator for District 29 on Tuesday, February 10, 2004, between Honorable Dewayne Thomas and Honorable Richard White.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Hinds County Election Commission shall be responsible for conducting the special election in accordance with the terms of this resolution and all applicable state laws not in conflict with the terms of this resolution.