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NAACP wants policy reform for disenfranchised Mississippians
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The Mississippi NAACP rally at the Capitol
MS NAACP Facebook

An equal rights group is asking lawmakers to restore voting privileges to thousands of felons in Mississippi. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.

 

Rosaline McCoy with the Jackson chapter of the NAACP is protesting against legislation that restricts individuals convicted of a felony from voting. A report called "Felony Disenfranchisement in Mississippi," conducted by the group, shows nearly one of every ten adults in the state is denied voting privileges-- a number more than three times the national average. 

Corey Wiggins is the executive director of the Mississippi NAACP.

"The challenge is is that we make it hard and we make it difficult for people to have their right to vote restored. Right now the process is whether the person may be pardoned by the governor, or they have to have an  individual suffrage bill that is voted upon by the state legislature," said Wiggins.

Representative Randy Rushing is on the House Corrections Committee.  The Republican from Decatur says, he doesn't support felons being able to vote while incarcerated. But, he says after they've served their time for non-violent crimes their right to vote should be restored.

"I fully support non-violent felons who may have made mistakes, especially at a younger age, who made some bad decisions and got in trouble. I certainly agree with restoring their voting rights," said Rushing. 

More than 218,000 Mississippians are disenfranchised, according to the NAACP. Ashley Norwood, MPB News.