News | Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 03, 2008
 
CONTACT: Pamela Weaver, (601) 270-4100

Felons Voting in Mississippi

Jackson, MS—Our current Constitution excludes certain felons from having the right to vote. These include criminals convicted of murder, rape, bribery, theft, arson, false pretense, perjury, forgery, embezzlement or bigamy. Yet, there are hundreds of other felonies in which the right to vote is not taken away. The Mississippi Legislature has begun to debate this issue.

Of the approximate 50,000 criminals which are incarcerated or fall under the supervision of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, only 12,000 are prohibited from voting. Meaning, 38,000 felons are allowed to vote on state officials as well as the judges and district attorney’s who sent them to prison.

“Some examples of who can still vote while incarcerated at our expense for crimes against their fellow citizens are sexual predators, cocaine pushers, meth lab operators and kidnappers,” says Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. “It is time for the felony voting requirement to be brought into the 21st century.”

Mississippi is not the first state to debate removing all felons from the voter rolls. All of the nine states fully covered by the 1965 Voting Rights Act disenfranchise felons or suspend their right to vote upon conviction.

*All media inquiries to the Secretary of States office will be handled by Pamela Weaver. You can contact her by cell phone at 601-270-4100 or office at 601-359-6349. Or you can email her at pweaver@sos.ms.gov.


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