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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Gov. Whitmer endorses Kamala Harris for president, says she's not leaving Michigan; Grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, Secret Service director says, 'We failed;' Teachers rally at national convention in Houston; Opioid settlement fund fuels anti-addiction battle in Indiana; Nonprofit agency says corporate donations keep programs going.

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Democrats consolidate support behind Vice President Harris, Republicans threaten legal action over changes to the presidential ticket, and a possible bipartisan consensus forms on the failure of the Secret Service to protect former President Trump.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Eligible incarcerated people may request absentee ballots Monday in MS

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Tuesday, June 25, 2024   

A new bill that takes effect next Monday will allow incarcerated Mississippians to request an absentee ballot in time for the presidential election on November 5.

House Bill 1406 will impact incarcerated Mississippians who have not been convicted of any of the 23 disenfranchisement crimes to be eligible to participate in the electoral process.

Paloma Wu, deputy director of impact litigation at the Mississippi Center for Justice, said they want all eligible Mississippians to vote because it's better for democracy. She added the Magnolia State has a limited excuse-only absentee ballot, meaning people can vote absentee, but only in specific circumstances.

"Many people who are held in jail and imprisoned in Mississippi are actually eligible to vote. And for one large group of those people, they had no excuse, which would have applied to them," she said.

Wu pointed out that Mississippi has one of the highest incarceration rates in the nation, with more than 1,000 people per 100,000 residents behind bars.

Wu noted those who are convicted of one of 23 disenfranchising crimes in a Mississippi court are automatically banned from voting for life. She added the history behind the disfranchising law was to prevent people of color from voting.

"Our list of disenfranchising crimes was created to target primarily descendants of recently enslaved people back in 1890," she explained.

Wu pointed out that her organization, along with other advocacy groups, Mississippi Votes, Black Voters Matter, and Mississippi Center for Re-Entry, collaborated with the state throughout the 2024 legislative session to get House Bill 1406 passed.


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