Controversy has often surrounded the voting process in the America, and Mississippi is no exception.
According to Senator David Blount, individuals from non-land owners, minority races, women, and the like have all faced electoral adversities. Blount (D-29) of Hinds County still believes there are problems to be addressed. He presented several pieces of legislation in the 2020 Session aimed to reform the electoral process.
Blount has filed SB2105, SB2108, SB2190, and SCR511. Senate Bills 2105 and 2108 were presented to “make the process easier and more assessable,” while SB2190 deals with the suffrage of former felons, and SC511 would remove the electoral vote required for Gubernatorial elections.
Blount told Y’all Politics SB2105 was put forward to authorize online voter registration and pre-election day voting.
“Most states in the nation have it,” said Senator Blount, “You know, it’s 21st Century technology. It just makes it easier on everyone.”
Blount went on to note that simple miscommunications and errors can interrupt the registration process.
“Mistakes happen at the county courthouse, and the paper-work you’ve filled out is just lost. Look, it’s difficult for college students, being away a year at a time. If we want our young people involved in the electoral process, then we need to make it more available to them.”
As for SB2108, Blount wants to make voting more assessable to college students.
The legislative website describes SB2190 as a bill which will provide for restoration of suffrage upon completion of sentence and payment of fines.
“At the moment, unless you’ve been pardoned by the President or Governor or you’ve had a bill with your name on it written specifically for you, there’s a lifetime ban,” said Blount. He emphasized the moral component of giving rehabilitated felons their Constitutional rights back, pleading, “Once a person has paid their debt to society, then their rights should be restored to become a productive, tax-paying citizen of society.”
In regard to his proposed Senate Concurrent Resolution, Blount plainly said no other state in the country has anything like this.
SC511 reads, “A Concurrent Resolution proposing to amend the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 by amending Section 140 and repealing Sections 141 and 142 to abolish the requirement that the governor be elected by electoral vote of the Mississippi House of Representatives and to provide that the person receiving the highest popular vote at the general election shall be Governor.”
The current process works similar to the national electoral college but replaces the different states’ delegate count with House Districts. Blount disagrees with this practice. He argues that the person who wins the most votes should win, calling it a pretty straightforward process.
Republican Secretary of State Michael Watson has voiced his support for a similar change.
The bills will move through the committee process before any possible action on the Senate and House floors.
Senator Blount serves as Chair of the Gaming Committee, Vice-Chair of the Education Committee, and also serves on the Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency Committee, Elections, Finance, Highways and Transportation, Medicaid, Public Health and Welfare, Public Property, and Universities and Colleges Committees.
Stone Clanton, Reporter for Y’all Politics