Voter purges impact registered voter lists in Mississippi

Published: Oct. 26, 2023 at 5:17 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Voter purges are routine, but ahead of one of the state’s closest elections, data shows you may have been removed from the Registered Voter’s List and are now unable to vote come November.

One Voice, the Mississippi NAACP, and other voter right organizations crunched the numbers and found in Lowndes, Oktibbeha, Hinds, Franklin, and Jasper counties, over 50,000 people were purged from their list.

“The reason I became a citizen is so I can vote! Just makes me feel bad if it’s taken away and that doesn’t sound very good to me,” Hinds County voter Helen Capistrano said.

“We had people calling us saying, ‘I voted in this place for years and all of a sudden my name is no longer on the roll,’” Nsombi Lambright-Haynes, Executive Director of One Voice, said.

How could this happen? Lambright-Haynes says state legislation may be to blame.

“A bill that was passed last year encouraged circuit clerks and election commissioners to engage in more purging than they have usually been doing. And so that process may have led to some mistakes.”

That’s a number that attorney Amir Badat with the NAACP Legal Defense team finds concerning.

“It can have a huge impact that could be the difference in the outcome of an election. And that’s why we think it’s so important for voters to check their registration status,” Badat said.

You can call the Election Protection Hotline at 888-601-VOTE.

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