Delbert Tries to Hose More Felon Voters? | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Delbert Tries to Hose More Felon Voters?

[verbatim statement from Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann]Jackson, MS—Our current Constitution excludes certain felons from having the right to vote. These include criminals convicted of murder, rape, bribery, theft, arson, false pretense, purgery, forgery, embezzlement or bigotry. Yet, there are hundreds of other felonies in which the right to vote is not taken away. The Mississippi Legislature has begun to debate this issue.

Of the approximate 50,000 criminals which are incarcerated or fall under the supervision of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, only 12,000 are prohibited from voting. Meaning, 38,000 felons are allowed to vote on state officials as well as the judges and district attorney's who sent them to prison.

"Some examples of who can still vote while incarcerated at our expense for crimes against their fellow citizens are sexual predators, cocaine pushers, meth lab operators and kidnappers," says Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. "It is time for the felony voting requirement to be brought into the 21st century."

Mississippi is not the first state to debate removing all felons from the voter rolls. All of the nine states fully covered by the 1965 Voting Rights Act disenfranchise felons or suspend their right to vote upon conviction.

Previous Comments

ID
99011
Comment

"Bigotry"??? Can we make citizen's arrests? We could start with whoever wrote that SafeCity bill! Secondly, Delbert's office needs a proofreader. Thirdly, note he doesn't say how much of a problem it is that all these felons are actually *voting*. Fourthly, it is clear that Mr. Hosemann is trying to get people convicted of selling drugs off the voter rolls. Is he at the same time going to push to ensure that just as many white people go to prison for drug-"pushing" as do African Americans. Or, is he not aware that we have a disparate problem with who is actually convicted of drug felonies in this state? Fifthly, if he pushes to purge more felons from the voter rolls in Mississippi without investigating whether that would have disparate impact on black voters, should he then be convicted of "bigotry" and then purged himself? OK, I'm kidding. (Sort of.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-03T10:15:30-06:00
ID
99012
Comment

And the logic of not letting someone vote once they've served their sentence makes no sense whatsoever. Should we also refuse their tax dollars once they start working again? If we ever got rid of discriminatory imprisonment, we all know this felon-voting obsession would suddenly disappear.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-03T10:36:34-06:00
ID
99013
Comment

I'm glad they're debate this, honestly. We need either an ban-em-all or restore-them-at-some-point process. This half and half measure we have now doesn't make sense, at least to me.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2008-03-03T10:50:26-06:00
ID
99014
Comment

It doesn't to me, either. I also feel the same about the death penalty, for the record. And that every execution should be televised. If the state is going to kill people, it shouldn't be behind closed doors. But, I digress. We need a *real* public debate on this, though; not some half-a$$ed political soundbite-filled tripe to help certain people get votes.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-03T10:55:47-06:00
ID
99015
Comment

I didn't read where he said there was a problem with the actual number of felons voting. If one felon is going to lose his right to vote for a crime then all felons should lose their right to vote for any crime is more what I understood from it. Sounds like a good idea to me. You commit a crime you lose your right to vote. Then when you have served your time you can get it back.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-03-03T10:56:56-06:00
ID
99016
Comment

Bubba, alert the media: We agree, think. I don't mind a felon losing their right to vote while they're in prison. I mean, hey. But once they're out and have served their time, they should get it back. Do you think that's what Hosemann is seeking? The statement is vague, but it sounds like he probably wants more people not voting, doesn't it?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-03T11:00:24-06:00
ID
99017
Comment

You are the media, I fully expect a headline on the webpage that we agree on something :) I don't know why he would want less people voting.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-03-03T11:10:14-06:00
ID
99018
Comment

Yeah, me either. But his party does. He must be a party animal. How predictable.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-03T11:12:55-06:00
ID
99019
Comment

I also agree that criminals who have served their time should have their full voting rights reserved--no questions askes; no ifs, ands or buts. Preventing someone of legal age from having the right to vote as a free man or woman is un-American. I don't know why he would want less people voting. Republicans as of late have been about repressing the right to vote. In a state like Mississippi, which has a high number of minorities, a high number of the disenfranchised are minorities. Minorities have a tendency of voting for Democrats than Republicans. Therefore, it is to the Republicans' advantage to keep Democratic voters away from the polls. At least, that's my conspiracy theory on it.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2008-03-03T15:04:54-06:00
ID
99020
Comment

I agree with you on one point, golden. If a person has served their full sentence behind bars and paid their *debt* to society, they should have full voting rights restored. That's ONLY if they've served their time. I don't think folks in jail or prison, on house arrest, or on parole should have that option. But there are some who would like to see them have voting rights too, and I disagree with that.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2008-03-03T15:20:20-06:00
ID
99021
Comment

I don't think folks in jail or prison, on house arrest, or on parole should have that option. I do agree with you on that.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2008-03-03T15:33:14-06:00
ID
99022
Comment

Hosemann's office just sent a corrected release. It would seem that "bigotry" was supposed to be "bigamy." Ha! Guess our post got their attention. Unfortunately, though, "attorney's" is still the plural of "attorney." Here's the new one, verbatim:   STATE OF MISSISSIPPI SECRETARY OF STATE DELBERT HOSEMANN TELEPHONE (601) 359-1350   FACSIMILE (601) 359-1499 401 MISSISSIPPI STREET POST OFFICE BOX 136 JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI 39205-0136   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  March 3, 2008 CONTACT:  Pamela Weaver, 601-270-4100     Felons Voting in Mississippi   Jackson, MS—Our current Constitution excludes certain felons from having the right to vote.  These include criminals convicted of murder, rape, bribery, theft, arson, false pretense, perjury, forgery, embezzlement or bigamy.  Yet, there are hundreds of other felonies in which the right to vote is not taken away.  The Mississippi Legislature has begun to debate this issue.    Of the approximate 50,000 criminals which are incarcerated or fall under the supervision of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, only 12,000 are prohibited from voting.  Meaning, 38,000 felons are allowed to vote on state officials as well as the judges and district attorney’s who sent them to prison.    “Some examples of who can still vote while incarcerated at our expense for crimes against their fellow citizens are sexual predators, cocaine pushers, meth lab operators and kidnappers,” says Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.  “It is time for the felony voting requirement to be brought into the 21st century.”   Mississippi is not the first state to debate removing all felons from the voter rolls.  All of the nine states fully covered by the 1965 Voting Rights Act disenfranchise felons or suspend their right to vote upon conviction. 

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-03T15:43:17-06:00
ID
99023
Comment

Oh, and note how "purgery" was spelled in the first one. And THESE are the people who are going to tell who is and is not qualified to vote!?! Good Lord.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-03T15:44:40-06:00
ID
99024
Comment

Don't confuse some low-level personal assistant with the entire Secretary of State staff. Good Lord.

Author
QB
Date
2008-03-03T15:58:26-06:00
ID
99025
Comment

Is the "low-level personal assistant" the press officer who sends this stuff out? Does no one with any authority proof and/or approve this stuff, or at least important words like "perjury" and "bigamy"? Taxpayers do pay their salaries, you know; shouldn't we concerned about the level of professionalism shown by the secretary of state's office? You know that office is supposed to represent us to the world in many ways, right?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-03T16:07:04-06:00
ID
99026
Comment

And why do you hold "low-level personal assistants" to such a low standard? I've been one; that's insulting. Now, I just saw this e-mail sent by Dorothy Triplett to Pamela Weaver over there; this is probably why the "corrected" e-mail went out (which didn't say what it was correcting, by the way; sigh). That would be like saying: "Correction: We made a mistake in our last issue." Anyway, here's Dorothy's e-mail. You'll see why she just won a Friendship Award: Ms. Weaver, I just this moment read your news release and saw: “Our current Constitution excludes certain felons from having the right to vote. These include criminals convicted of murder, rape, bribery, theft, arson, false pretense, purgery, forgery, embezzlement or bigotry. “ I wish bigots couldn’t vote -- but I never knew that bigotry was a felony. If so, that law is broken frequently. It’s a great idea -- however, we wouldn’t have room in the jails. They’d all have to be under house arrest. Never heard of “purgery” -- I’m sure you meant perjury?? The law probably needs to be re-written, but once someone has “paid their debt to society,” shouldn’t they be able to exercise the rights everyone else has? Dorothy Triplett State government retiree - formerly employed at the Secretary of State’s Office (Molpus and Clark)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-03T16:09:59-06:00
ID
99027
Comment

The release makes it sound like Hosemann is worried that a felon will vote against the D.A. who put him there. Or, him maybe—considering that he is a "state official." How in hell can anyone with a brain take such reasoning and paranoia SERIOUSLY!?! This is why people think Mississippians are stupid, folks. Although, sadly, we're not the only state with people like this holding public office.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-03T16:13:02-06:00
ID
99028
Comment

Dorothy Triplett is amazing, and definitely deserves a Friendship Award from where I sit. :o)

Author
Tom Head
Date
2008-03-03T16:49:10-06:00
ID
99029
Comment

Unfortunately, this is the state of politics today. Pols pick easy fights to make "big" statements (i.e. gay marriage, illegal immigration, voter ID, felon voting rights) to make themselves look good. But, rarely do they actually tackle tough issues. I think the bigger story here is that this is the first "issue" that he's decided to address in his new office. Is this really what Mississippians voted him in for? To keep people who probably wouldn't vote anyway from voting? Seriously, how many murderers, rapists, kidnappers, and drug pushers are rushing to the polls?

Author
eyerah
Date
2008-03-04T12:07:47-06:00
ID
99030
Comment

Delbert Hosemann flew under the radar, but he is one of those people that thinks Democrats have tens of thousands of people voting twice or dead people voting, etc. Obviously people were not listening to Hosemann over on WJNT. He should have been questioned on his beliefs because I can guarantee you that he is suspect. Big proponent of voter ID, probably for all the wrong reasons. I suspect we will learn more about him as the days go by.

Author
Goldenae
Date
2008-03-04T15:14:46-06:00
ID
99031
Comment

Oh. My. Gawd. This man needs to get someone to proof his stuff before it goes out (someone who can spell and has a little, tiny, education).

Author
C.W.
Date
2008-03-14T06:36:58-06:00

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