The Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus stands in solidarity with Georgia citizens, Major League Baseball and other entities opposing the passage of Georgia’s restrictive voting legislation.
“Laws making it more difficult to vote are especially alarming to members of the MLBC, who have seen the introduction of bills this legislative session aimed at purging the voter rolls.” Although those bills died, we view the comprehensive voting bill passed in Georgia as a signal of what is to come. Republican election reform is sweeping the country. “If we are not vigilant, Mississippi’s election process will become even more suppressive than it is currently,” said Angela Turner Ford, Chair of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus.
Earlier this session Caucus members introduced election bills in various forms. Bills seeking to simplify the absentee voting process, restore the right to vote and implement early voting were introduced in the senate and the house. All of these bills died in committee.
SB 2588, which sought to remove electors from the voter rolls who failed to respond to a notification card, passed the senate with a vote of 36 to 16. HB 586, a similar measure, passed the house 76 to 39. HB 586 would have allowed electors to be purged from the voter rolls if “evidence” existed that a registered voter may not be a citizen, and the voter failed to respond to notice in writing. Each of these bills were strongly opposed by MLBC members.
“While we are relieved neither measure was forwarded to the Governor for signature, we must be prepared for the re-introduction of these and other bills that suppress the vote.” In Georgia the business community is responding to the Georgia State Legislature’s attempt to restrict early voting. Although we do not have early voting in Mississippi, it is my sincere hope that preserving and expanding the right to vote will receive the same level of support.”
The Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus consists of fifty-three (53) members of the Mississippi Senate and Mississippi House of Representatives. Collectively, we represent 1.3 million Mississippians.