2005 Regular Session
To: Apportionment and Elections; Constitution
By: Representative Capps, Whittington, Reynolds
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 23-15-369, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE FORM OF THE BALLOT ON PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS; TO INCREASE THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF WORDS THAT MAY APPEAR ON THE BALLOT AS AN EXPLANATORY STATEMENT OF THE CHIEF PURPOSE OF THE MEASURE; TO AUTHORIZE AN ELECTOR WHO IS TEMPORARILY OR PERMANENTLY PHYSICALLY DISABLED AND WHOSE VOTING PRECINCT IS NOT ACCESSIBLE DUE TO SUCH TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT PHYSICAL DISABILITY TO HAVE HIS OR HER BALLOT MADE AVAILABLE TO THE NEAREST WARD OR VOTING PRECINCT THAT IS ACCESSIBLE TO SUCH ELECTOR; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 23-15-369, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
23-15-369. (1) (a) Whenever a constitutional amendment is submitted to the vote of the people, the substance of such amendment shall be printed in clear and unambiguous language on the ballot after the list of candidates, if any, followed by the words "FOR THE AMENDMENT" and also by the words "AGAINST THE AMENDMENT", and shall be styled in such a manner that a * * * vote "FOR THE AMENDMENT" will indicate approval of the proposal and a * * * vote "AGAINST THE AMENDMENT" will indicate rejection.
(b) The substance of the amendment shall be an explanatory statement not exceeding one hundred (100) words in length of the chief purpose of the measure. Such statement shall be prepared by the Legislature and included in the concurrent resolution proposing the amendment to the Constitution. The statement shall avoid, whenever possible, the use of legal terminology or jargon and shall use instead, simple, ordinary, everyday language. The Secretary of State shall give each proposed constitutional amendment a designating number for convenient reference. This number designation shall appear on the ballot. Designating numbers shall be assigned in the order of filing or certification of the amendments. The Secretary of State shall furnish the designating number and the substance of each amendment to the circuit clerk of each county in which such amendment is to be voted on.
(c) The full text of each proposed constitutional amendment shall be published by the Secretary of State as provided for in Section 7-3-39, Mississippi Code of 1972, and shall be posted prominently in all polling places, with copies of the proposed amendment to be * * * available at each polling place.(2) Except as may be otherwise provided in subsection (1) of this section, whenever any public measure, question or matter that requires an affirmative or negative vote is submitted to a vote of the electors, the measure or matter shall be printed on the ballot and also the words "FOR" or "AGAINST" to be so arranged by the proper officer so that the voter can intelligently vote his preference.
SECTION 2. (1) An elector who is temporarily or permanently physically disabled and whose voting precinct is not accessible due to such temporary or physical disability shall be entitled to have his or her ballot made available to the nearest voting precinct that is able to accommodate such elector's physical disability, subject to the following conditions:
(a) A written request that is submitted no later than forty-five (45) days before the date of the election and explains the elector's need to transfer because of a temporary or permanent physical disability;
(b) The registrar of the county to whom the request to transfer is made shall verify that the elector's voting precinct is not accessible to such elector due to such elector's disability.
(2) Each supervisor's district shall have no less than one (1) voting precinct that is in compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
(3) This section shall stand repealed on July 1, 2007.
SECTION 3. 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 4. 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.