According to the Brennan Center for Justice, certain felons do not regain their right to vote, depending on the crime. Some of the population cannot enjoy this basic civil right unless they obtain approval from the government for reinstatement of their electoral privilege. Otherwise, felons can vote when serving time in prison or jail.
*The crimes that bar felons from voting in Mississippi include:
· Armed Robbery
· Bad check writing
· Felony shoplifting
· Obtaining goods or money under fall pretenses
· Receiving stolen merchandise
· Statutory rape
· Timber larceny
· Stealing a vehicle
In 2015, the Attorney General in Mississippi added 11 new crimes that bar felons from voting. Felons who have not been convicted of any of the above-listed crimes are eligible to vote. If you are a felon who was registered to vote before you were incarcerated, you can vote by absentee ballot.
Felon Voting Law in Mississippi
If you have been convicted of one of the 21 listed crimes in Mississippi that prevents felons from voting, you may be able to have your rights restored by one of two primary methods. Either a felon can seek a pardon by the governor or you can work toward having the legislature pass a bill for rights restoration. The Mississippi Vote Empowerment Coalition (MVEC) assists people who have been convicted of crimes that have had their voting rights revoked.
How a Felon in Mississippi Can Restore Their Voting Rights
If you are interested in applying for reinstatement of your right to vote, you may contact the ACLU in Mississippi at 601-355-6464. To register to vote in the state, you must be –
· A US citizen and resident of Mississippi
· Be 18 years of age by the next election date
· Live in the town where you plan to register to vote for at least 30 days before the scheduled election
· Not be ineligible to vote by the commission of 21 listed crimes*
If you have not committed one or more of the 21 above-listed crimes in Mississippi, you can still vote while incarcerated. Therefore, other felony convictions do not impact your right to vote in Mississippi. If you are guilty of one of the 21 listed crimes, but committed the felony in another state, your voting rights will not be affected in Mississippi.
Voter registrations may be obtained from the public library, post office, county court house, parole or probation office, community center, welfare office or NAACP chapter. You may also download a registration from the Secretary of State’s website. It takes 30 days for a voter registration form to be processed. Therefore, be sure to register at least one month ahead of an upcoming election. More information can be obtained through the American Civil Liberties Unions (ACLU) by clicking on this link.
Other Resources For Felons in Mississippi
Jobs For Felons: If you’re a felon looking for a job in Mississippi, we have all of the resources you need including job listings by city, companies that hire felons, and our own job board. Click Here to learn more.