House Bill 179
AN ACT TO PROHIBIT AN ELECTED OFFICIAL FROM CHANGING POLITICAL PARTY AFFILIATION DURING SUCH OFFICIAL’S TERM OF OFFICE; TO PROVIDE THAT A CHANGE OF POLITICAL PARTY AFFILIATION SHALL BE CONSIDERED A RESIGNATION AND THE OFFICE OF SUCH OFFICIAL SHALL BE VACANT AND FILLED AS PROVIDED BY LAW FOR SUCH OFFICE; TO PROVIDE THAT SUCH VACANCY SHALL BE FILLED AS PROVIDED BY LAW FOR THAT OFFICE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) No elected official may change political party affiliation during such official’s term of office. A “change in political party affiliation” occurs when:
(a) Any elected official publicly declares that he or she is leaving the political party with which he or she was affiliated when he or she was elected to office;
(b) Any elected official publicly declares that he or she is becoming a member of a political party which is different from the political party with which he or she was affiliated at the time of election.
(2) Any change of political party affiliation during an official’s term of office shall be considered a resignation by such official and a vacancy for such office. Any such vacancy shall be filled as provided by law for that office.
SECTION 2. The Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall submit this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United States or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
Hattip Clarion Ledger