[JURIST] The Mississippi American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [press release] Monday challenging a list of felony crimes which prevent convicted individuals from voting in the state. The lawsuit was filed against the offices of the Mississippi Secretary of State [official website] and the Mississippi Attorney General [official website] on behalf of two state residents. Ten crimes were originally listed in the Mississippi Constitution [text] to restrict voting, but in 2004, the state added another eleven including robbery, statutory rape, carjacking, and shoplifting. The ACLU is challenging the added crimes.
The ACLU is petitioning the court to order a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order to allow individuals who have committed those crimes to register to vote. They are also asking that the October 6 voter registration deadline be extended so those convicted can still vote in the November elections. Mississippi [JURIST news archive] is one of 12 states that currently allows such limitations on voting, but its rules are considered to be the country's most restrictive. AP has more.