JACKSON – Mississippi’s constitution bars its citizens from voting ever again after being convicted of certain felonies. Now a legal group wants the federal courts to remove what it calls an illegal vestige of white supremacy by striking down most of these restrictions.
Attorney Rob McDuff, who filed suit Thursday in Jackson, estimates that more than 50,000 Mississippians have been disqualified from voting since 1994 due to these convictions. About 60 percent are African-American, in a state whose population is 37 percent black. The suit describes the disenfranchising crimes as “an integral part of the overall effort to prevent African-Americans in Mississippi from voting.”