ACLU decries Senate bill as ‘voter suppression tool’

ACLU decries Senate bill as ‘voter suppression tool’
(Source: WLBT)

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The ACLU of Mississippi says that Senate Bill 2588 is a voter-suppression tool, and would “force election commissioners to remove voters from the voter rolls for simply not voting.”

On Tuesday, the bill was passed out of the Senate Elections Committee, meaning it could be brought up for a vote by the entire Senate.

The measure would create a new code section to require county registrars or election commissioners to “remove from the statewide elections management system” voters who fail to respond to a voter confirmation notice, vote, or update their registration information at least once in a four-year period.

A confirmation notice is a notice sent by election commissioners to a “registered elector to confirm the registered elector’s address,” the bill states. The election commission shall be required to send a notice to each voter that has failed to vote at least once in elections in the previous two years.

“The right to vote should not be us a ‘use it or lose it’ policy,” the ACLU writes. “Once registered a voter should not be disenfranchised so long as the voter remains eligible to vote. That basic principle is one that should be jealously guarded in our democracy regardless of one’s political persuasion.”

S.B. 2588 was authored by District 33 Sen. Jeff Tate, who represents Clarke and Lauderdale counties. He is currently the chair of the Elections Committee, according to the legislature’s website.

ACLU officials are calling on the full Senate and Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann to reject the measure.

Tate could not be reached for comment after hours. Hosemann’s office did not have a comment Tuesday.

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