2005 Regular Session
To: Constitution; Apportionment and Elections
By: Representative Denny, Baker (8th), Beckett, Bounds, Ellington, Formby, Mims, Moore, Turner
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO SECTION 241, MISSISSIPPI CONSTITUTION OF 1890, TO DELETE THE ENUMERATION OF SPECIFIC OFFENSES, CONVICTION OF WHICH WILL PRECLUDE A PERSON FROM BEING DECLARED A QUALIFIED ELECTOR; TO PROVIDE THAT A PERSON SHALL BE DISQUALIFIED AS AN ELECTOR UPON CONVICTION OF A FELONY IN THIS STATE OR ANOTHER JURISDICTION; TO PROVIDE THAT A PERSON WHO WAS DISQUALIFIED AS AN ELECTOR UPON CONVICTION OF A FELONY SHALL HAVE HIS RIGHT TO VOTE RESTORED UPON COMPLETION OF HIS SENTENCE, PROBATION, PAROLE, ANY COURT-ORDERED RESTITUTION AND ALL OTHER PENALTIES AND CONDITIONS IMPOSED UPON HIM OR HER FOR THE CONVICTION; TO REPEAL SECTION 253, MISSISSIPPI CONSTITUTION OF 1890, THAT AUTHORIZES THE LEGISLATURE TO RESTORE SUFFRAGE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
Amend Section 241, Mississippi Constitution of 1890, to read as follows:
"Section 241. (1) Every inhabitant of this state, except idiots and insane persons, who is a citizen of the United States of America, eighteen (18) years old and upward, who has been a resident of this state for one (1) year, and for one (1) year in the county in which he offers to vote, and for six (6) months in the election precinct or in the incorporated city or town in which he offers to vote, and who is duly registered as provided in this article, and who has never been convicted in a court of this state or any other state or in any federal court of any offense which is a felony under the laws of the jurisdiction in which the conviction occurred, is declared to be a qualified elector, except that he shall be qualified to vote for President and Vice President of the United States if he meets the requirements established by Congress therefor and is otherwise a qualified elector. However, a person disqualified as an elector by reason of a conviction of any offense either before or after the amendment to this section by House Concurrent Resolution No. 51, 2005 Session becomes effective, shall be declared a qualified elector upon completion of his sentence, probation, parole, any court-ordered restitution and all other penalties and conditions imposed for the conviction, if the person is otherwise a qualified elector under this section.
(2) The provisions of this section do not disqualify a person as an elector if the person was convicted before ratification of House Concurrent Resolution No. 51, 2005 Regular Session, of an offense that did not disqualify a person as an elector under the provisions of this Constitution in effect immediately before the ratification of House Concurrent Resolution No. 51, 2005 Regular Session."
Section 253, Mississippi Constitution of 1890, which reads as follows:
"Section 253. The Legislature may, by a two-thirds vote of both houses, of all members elected, restore the right of suffrage to any person disqualified by reason of crime; but the reasons therefor shall be spread upon the journals, and the vote shall be by yeas and nays." is repealed.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That these proposed amendments shall be submitted by the Secretary of State to the qualified electors at an election to be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November 2005, as provided by Section 273 of the Constitution and by general law, with the amendments in this resolution being voted on as one (1) amendment since the proposed amendments pertain to one (1) subject.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the explanation of this proposed amendment for the ballot shall read as follows: "This proposed constitutional amendment deletes specific offenses, conviction of which will preclude a person from being declared a qualified elector and provides that such person shall be disqualified as an elector upon conviction of a felony. The amendment also restores the right to vote to the disqualified person upon completion of his sentence and any other conditions of the conviction and deletes the authority of the Legislature to restore a disqualified elector's right to vote."
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall submit this resolution, immediately upon adoption by the Legislature of the State of Mississippi, 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.