2006 Regular Session
To: Apportionment and Elections
By: Representative Reynolds
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTION COMMISSIONERS OR THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF HINDS COUNTY UPON PETITION BY THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF A COUNTY OR GOVERNING AUTHORITIES OF A MUNICIPALITY TO POSTPONE ELECTIONS TO A SPECIFIC DATE, SPECIFY ALTERNATE POLLING PLACES AND SPECIFY ALTERNATE VOTING SYSTEMS IN THE EVENT A STATE OF EMERGENCY IS DECLARED BY THE GOVERNOR AND THE REASONS FOR WHICH THE STATE OF EMERGENCY IS DECLARED INTERFERE WITH THE ELECTORAL PROCESS; TO PROVIDE THAT IF EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES EXIST AND A STATE OF EMERGENCY HAS NOT BEEN DECLARED BY THE GOVERNOR, THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTION COMMISSIONERS OR THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF HINDS COUNTY, UPON PETITION BY THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS IN THE COUNTY IN WHICH THE EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES EXIST OR THE GOVERNING AUTHORITIES OF THE MUNICIPALITY IN WHICH THE EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES EXIST, MAY TAKE ANY ACTION NECESSARY TO PROVIDE A REMEDY THAT IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF, AND PROTECTS THE INTEGRITY OF, THE ELECTORAL PROCESS; TO AMEND SECTIONS 23-15-171, 23-15-173, 23-15-191, 23-15-193 AND 23-15-197, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) In the event a state of emergency is declared by the Governor pursuant to Section 33-15-11, and the reasons for which the state of emergency is declared interfere with the electoral process, the board of supervisors in the county in which the emergency circumstances exist or the governing authorities of the municipality in which the emergency circumstances exist, may petition the State Board of Election Commissioners or the Circuit Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County to:
(a) Mandate and direct the postponement of an election until a specific date; however, the date must be the same for the entire district in which the election is being held.
(b) Specify alternate polling places.
(c) Specify the use of alternate voting systems.
(2) If emergency circumstances exist and a state of emergency has not been declared by the Governor, the board of supervisors in the county in which the emergency circumstances exist or the governing authorities of the municipality in which the emergency circumstances exist, may petition the State Board of Election Commissioners or the Circuit Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County to take any action necessary to provide a remedy that is in the best interest of, and protects the integrity of, the electoral process.
(3) No election shall be postponed for a period of time that exceeds the expiration of a term of office for which the election is being postponed.
SECTION 2. Section 23-15-171, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
23-15-171. (1) Municipal primary elections shall be held on the first Tuesday in May preceding the general municipal election and, in the event a second primary shall be necessary, such second primary shall be held on the third Tuesday in May preceding such general municipal election. At such primary election the municipal executive committee shall perform the same duties as are specified by law and performed by members of the county executive committee with regard to state and county primary elections. Each municipal executive committee shall have as many members as there are elective officers of the municipality, and such members of the municipal executive committee of each political party shall be elected in the primary elections held for the nomination of candidates for municipal offices. The provisions of this section shall govern all municipal primary elections as far as applicable, but the officers to prepare the ballots and the managers and other officials of the primary election shall be appointed by the municipal executive committee of the party holding such primary, and the returns of such election shall be made to such municipal executive committee. Vacancies in the executive committee shall be filled by it.
(2) Provided, however, that in municipalities operating under a special or private charter which fixes a time for holding elections, other than the time fixed by Chapter 491, Laws of 1950, the first primary election shall be held exactly four (4) weeks before the time for holding the general election, as fixed by the charter, and the second primary election, where necessary, shall be held two (2) weeks after the first primary election, unless the charter of any such municipality provides otherwise, in which event the provisions of the special or private charter shall prevail as to the time of holding such primary elections.
(3) All primary elections in municipalities shall be held and conducted in the same manner as is provided by law for state and county primary elections.
(4) The date of a municipal primary election may be postponed to a specific date as provided in Section 1 of House Bill No. 221, 2006 Regular Session.
SECTION 3. Section 23-15-173, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
23-15-173. (1) Except as otherwise provided in Section 1 of House Bill No. 221, 2006 Regular Session, a general municipal election shall be held in each city, town or village on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of June 1985, and every four (4) years thereafter, for the election of all municipal officers elected by the people.
(2) All municipal general elections shall be held and conducted in the same manner as is provided by law for state and county general elections.
SECTION 4. Section 23-15-191, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
23-15-191. Except as otherwise provided in Section 1 of House Bill No. 221, 2006 Regular Session, the first primary shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of August preceding any regular or general election; and the second primary shall be held three (3) weeks thereafter. Any candidate who receives the highest popular vote cast for the office which he seeks in the first primary shall thereby become the nominee of the party for such office; provided also it be a majority of all the votes cast for that office. If no candidate receive such majority of popular votes in the first primary, then the two (2) candidates who receive the highest popular vote for such office shall have their names submitted as such candidates to a second primary, and the candidate who leads in such second primary shall be nominated to the office. When there is a tie in the first primary of those receiving next highest vote, these two (2) and the one (1) receiving the highest vote, none having received a majority, shall go into the second primary, and whoever leads in such second primary shall be entitled to the nomination.
SECTION 5. Section 23-15-193, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
23-15-193. Except as otherwise provided in Section 1 of House Bill No. 221, 2006 Regular Session, at the election in 1995, and every four (4) years thereafter, there shall be elected a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor of Public Accounts, State Treasurer, Attorney General, three (3) public service commissioners, three (3) Mississippi Transportation Commissioners, Commissioner of Insurance, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, Senators and members of the House of Representatives in the Legislature, district attorneys for the several districts, clerks of the circuit and chancery courts of the several counties, as well as sheriffs, coroners, assessors, surveyors and members of the boards of supervisors, justice court judges and constables, and all other officers to be elected by the people at the general state election. All such officers shall hold their offices for a term of four (4) years, and until their successors are elected and qualified. The state officers shall be elected in the manner prescribed in Section 140 of the Constitution.
SECTION 6. Section 23-15-197, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
23-15-197. (1) Times for holding primary and general elections for congressional offices shall be as prescribed in Sections 23-15-1031, 23-15-1033 and 23-15-1041.
(2) Times for holding elections for the Office of Judge of the Supreme Court shall be as prescribed in Section 23-15-991 and Sections 23-15-974 through 23-15-985.
(3) Times for holding elections for the office of circuit court judge and the office of chancery court judge shall be as prescribed in Sections 23-15-974 through 23-15-985, and Section 23-15-1015.
(4) Times for holding elections for the office of county election commissioners shall be as prescribed in Section 23-15-213.
(5) The times for holding elections for the offices listed in this section may be postponed to a specific date as provided in Section 1 of House Bill No. 221, 2006 Regular Session.
SECTION 7. 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 8. 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.