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MS Votes in the News

Young, Woke, and Voting: Youth Civic Engagement in Mississippi and the Power of Our Votes


April 08, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Tim Young - communications@msvotes.org JACKSON, MS -- Mississippi Votes is an organization of intergenerational synergy centering and led by young people invested in the progression of Mississippi. Our organization’s programming and outreach…

Mississippi Elections Chief Warns Biden May Register ‘Uninformed,’ ‘Woke’ College Voters


April 06, 2021

Mississippi’s top election official says he is worried that the nation will suffer if more “woke” and “uninformed” college students become registered voters. Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson made that remark in a televised interview while describing President Joe…

OPINION: Bring Mississippi Into the 21st Century—Overturn Its Jim Crow-era Voting Laws


March 31, 2021

When it comes to voting, there is no denying a simple fact about Mississippi: our state has refused to eliminate antiquated laws that disproportionately silence Black and young voters. In drafting the state's constitution in 1890, white lawmakers with mal intent sought to limit…

Reentry and voting: New report shows barriers faced by Mississippians after time in prison


March 09, 2021

A new study suggests that Mississippians who finish prison sentences should have a clear path to reestablishing their voting rights instead of a system in which they often don't find success. The report, "Our Voices, Our Votes: Felony Disenfranchisement and Reentry in Mississippi…

Advocates continue to push for voting rights restoration of convicted felons in Mississippi


March 09, 2021

Do the crime, do the time. It’s a phrase you’ve heard before. But here in Mississippi, there’s a big consequence that sticks with some offenders for life regardless of the time they serve. Kim Biggs served time for a felony bad check charge. She was ready to start over when she…

Restore right to vote: Mississippians deserve power to change their communities


March 02, 2021

As a life-long Mississippian with almost a decade of public service working for the city of Jackson, I have been a committed and active community member. My ability to create a better future for my community, however, has been blocked because I can’t vote. I lost my right to vote…

Vote Your Voice: In Mississippi, grantee organizations are challenging systemic voter suppression


November 02, 2020

Cynthia Parham wants to vote by absentee ballot. A survivor of five heart bypass surgeries, the 61-year-old insurance agent in Oxford, Mississippi, also has diabetes and kidney disease. With the coronavirus a deadly threat to her, she has rarely left her home since March. But she…

Here’s How Young Black Voters Are Fighting Back Against Voter Suppression in Mississippi


September 24, 2019

While folks around the country are galvanizing today, National Voter Registration Day, to make sure people are eligible to vote come Election Day, here in Mississippi, young black voters are fighting for much more than making sure our names are on the voter rolls. For four…

Be a geofence: The story behind the technology that millennial-led Mississippi Votes uses to help more young Mississippians vote


June 06, 2019

JACKSON — Arekia Bennett throws herself into a chair in front of a dark red accent wall and rattles off a list of positions she hopes to fill as quickly as possible at Mississippi Votes, the nonprofit she has led as executive director for almost a year. Recently, Mississippi…

Pretrial detainees not convicted of crimes can vote, but Mississippi makes it impossible


November 02, 2018

With the upcoming midterm elections, we have already seen alarming reports of voter suppression across the country, including in Georgia and Kansas. Often forgotten in these reports is the segment of our population that remains unseen: incarcerated, eligible voters. For people…

A New Class of Voting Rights Activists Picks Up the Mantle in Mississippi


September 25, 2018

OXFORD, Miss. — The first time Howard Kirschenbaum registered voters in Mississippi was during the summer of 1964, when he was arrested and thrown in jail. The second time was on Tuesday, after returning to the Southern state more than a half-century later to support a new…

Cultivating a transformative culture of civic engagement across the state of Mississippi