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Judge dismisses lawsuit over...

Judge dismisses lawsuit over Mississippi proof of citizenship law

By: Sarah Ulmer - June 1, 2022

Both parties requested the suit be dismissed by federal Judge Carlton Reeves. 

This week, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Mississippi Center for Justice (MCJ) challenging a recent law that would require proof of citizenship in order to vote in any Mississippi elections.

The bill, HB 1510, which was signed by Governor Tate Reeves, would have initially allowed for additional purging of voter rolls as well as the proof of citizenship component. After a strike all was offered in the House, the bill changed quite drastically with no purging language mentioned and additional language was included directing a higher percentage of funding to local elections to ensure election integrity.

The proof of citizenship component remained in the now law.

RELATED: Reeves signs legislation to ensure only U.S. citizens vote in Mississippi elections

The new law requires the Secretary of State’s office to run a voter’s name through a federal immigration database in the event the public safety database raises questions about citizenship. Should both databases raise questions, the circuit clerk is required to give notice and the individual has 30 days to prove citizenship with a birth certificate, a U.S. passport, or naturalization documents.

The bill was passed in the House by a vote of 114-5 and in the Senate 38-13. Those opposed were Democrats.

“If you are a citizen of our great country, you will be able to vote in Mississippi,” said Reeves upon the signing of the bill.

“We would prefer that there be no database matching,” Rob McDuff, an attorney for the Mississippi Center for Justice said in a news release on Tuesday. “There is no problem in Mississippi with non-citizens trying to vote. But given that the Secretary of State created such a database matching program, (the new law) makes the situation better and decreases the number of erroneous non-matches.”

Both the plaintiffs and defendants from the Secretary of State’s office requested that Judge Carlton Reeves dismiss the suit on Tuesday, a request he quickly granted.

About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah: