Inmate voting in Hattiesburg may come under scrutiny - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Inmate voting in Hattiesburg may come under scrutiny


The Hattiesburg election commission is close to certifying the results of Tuesday's general election that shows Johnny DuPree winning his fourth term in office by 37 votes over challenger Dave Ware.  The city clerks office says they lack only one signature from the 5 member election commission to officially certify the votes.  Certification means the official results will be sent to the Secretary of State's office.

However, certification also means Ware can now file his notice of examination. Thursday, Ware made clear that he plans to file the necessary paperwork to examine all the boxes, including absentee ballots. Ware held a 150 vote lead Tuesday night after all the boxes were counted, but nearly 600 absentee ballots pushed DuPree into the lead by 33 votes. Affidavit ballots later expanded his lead to 37. 

While the Ware campaign is being silent about their strategy, there are indications that absentee ballots sent to inmates at the Forrest county jail could be a key point of contention. 

While state law allows for some incarcerated inmates to vote, the Attorney General's office has listed 22 exceptions.  In addition, an inmate may only vote absentee in the city or county of last residence, not where the inmate is imprisoned.  City Clerk, Eddie Myers, says 30 absentee ballots were mailed to the jail.

The following crimes will disenfranchise a Mississippi resident from voting:

1.  Arson                      

2.  Armed Robbery             

3.  Bigamy                                  

4.  Bribery                                  

5.  Embezzlement                      

6.  Extortion                              

7.  Felony Bad Check               

8.  Felony Shoplifting               

9.  Forgery                                 

10. Larceny                                

11. Murder                                

12. Obtaining Money or Goods under False Pretenses

13. Perjury

14. Rape

15. Receiving Stolen Property

16. Robbery

17. Theft

18. Timber Larceny

19. Unlawful Taking of Motor Vehicle

20. Statutory Rape

21. Carjacking

22. Larceny Under Lease or Rental Agreement

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