District 102 Representative Toby Barker told the Hattiesburg Patriot, “A concurrent resolution will be dropped some time today or tomorrow” proposing a number of updates to the Mississippi State constitution. All proposed legislation and resolutions are dropped into a box and then delivered to the appropriate chair. The proposed changes update the language within the constitution to reflect the current four districts instead of the previous five. Mississippi lost a representative back in 2000 when the census reflected a decrease in population.
The most exciting item being proposed by Rep. Barker will be a bill for the inclusion of electronic signatures in the ballot initiative process. Mississippians presently must obtain over 100,000 physical signatures 20% from each of the old five districts to get a ballot initiative on the ballot. With the constitutional updates these signatures will change to 25% in the four districts. If a bill is passed to allow for secure electronic signatures this would be a power boom for the people of Mississippi.
Tom Garmon with Garmon Media, which owns the Hattiesburg Patriot, initially contacted Representative Barker about updating the constitution’s references to the number of districts; as well as about proposing a bill which would allow electronic signatures to be used in getting ballot initiatives on the ballot. Garmon said, “Our district is very fortunate to have a public servant like Representative Toby Barker. I am proud he represents my family. Representative Barker was extremely responsive to our discussion, and in agreement that the proposed changes would be good for Mississippians. Electronic signature technology is readily available, and incorporating it in the ballot initiative process would empower the citizens of Mississippi. I am sure there will be some elected representatives who will be against it. Let’s wait and see who they are.”
If you support electronic signatures in the initiative and referendum process please fill out the petition below. Below the petition is the concurrent resolution that Representative Barker is sponsoring. The bill to add electronic signatures to the process will be submitted separately.
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