Bill Text: MS SC520 | 2022 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Constitution; amend to allow felons to vote upon meeting certain conditions.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Failed) 2022-02-01 - Died In Committee [SC520 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2022-SC520-Introduced.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2022 Regular Session

To: Constitution; Elections

By: Senator(s) Blount

Senate Concurrent Resolution 520

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO SECTION 241, MISSISSIPPI CONSTITUTION OF 1890, TO PROVIDE THAT PERSONS DISENFRANCHISED BY CONVICTION OF A FELONY SHALL BE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE UPON MEETING CERTAIN CONDITIONS; AND PROPOSING THE REPEAL OF SECTION 244A, MISSISSIPPI CONSTITUTION OF 1890, WHICH AUTHORIZES THE LEGISLATURE TO PRESCRIBE ADDITIONAL DISENFRANCHISING CRIMES.

     BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, TWO-THIRDS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, WHICH TWO-THIRDS CONSISTS OF NOT LESS THAN A MAJORITY OF THE MEMBERS ELECTED TO EACH HOUSE, That the following amendments to the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 are proposed to the qualified electors of the state:

I.

     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 qualified elector if the person:

          (a)  Is a citizen of the United States of America * * *,;

          (b)  Is at least eighteen (18) years old * * * and upward, who;

          (c)  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 resided in this state for thirty (30) days, for thirty (30) days in the county in which the person offers to vote, and for thirty (30) days in the incorporated city or town in which * * * he the person offers to vote, and who is duly registered as provided in this article or by statute, and who has never been convicted of a felony offense of murder, rape, bribery, theft, arson, obtaining money or goods under false pretense, perjury, forgery, embezzlement, vote fraud or bigamy * * *, is declared to be a qualified elector, except that he; and

          (d)  Has not been determined mentally incompetent by a final judgment of a court.

     (2)  If a person has been convicted of a disqualifying felony listed in subsection (1)(c) of this section, the person may become a qualified elector if the person:

          (a)  Has fully discharged the person's sentence, including any term of incarceration, parole, probation or other supervision ordered by any court; and

          (b)  Presents to the registrar of voters certified copies of the Discharge Order signed by the Circuit Court Judge and the Discharge Certificate issued by the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

     (3)  A person shall be qualified to vote for President and Vice President of the United States if * * * he the person meets the requirements established by Congress * * * therefor and is otherwise a qualified elector.

II.

     Amend Section 244A, Mississippi Constitution of 1890, to read as follows:

     Section 244A.  The Legislature shall have the power to prescribe and enforce by appropriate legislation qualifications to be required of persons to vote and to register to vote in addition to those set forth in this Constitution.  However, the Legislature shall not prescribe and enforce a disenfranchising felony offense which is not in effect on the date this proposed amendment is adopted by the Legislature.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the amendments in this resolution 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 2024, 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 Mississippi Legislature shall enact necessary and appropriate legislation at the 2025 Regular Session of the Legislature to enable this amendment to Section 241 and Section 244A if the Secretary of State by proclamation inserts these amendments as part of the Constitution.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the explanation of the amendment for the ballot shall read as follows:  "This proposed constitutional amendment provides that a person who has lost the right to vote because of a criminal conviction may become eligible to vote only if the person has fully discharged any sentence of incarceration and supervision, including probation and parole, for the crime, and to limit as to disenfranchising crimes those specified in the Mississippi Constitution of 1890."

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