Petition filed to define life at conception in Mississippi

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann received The Personhood petition Tuesday. The Personhood petition, or, Initiative Measure #26, seeks to amend the State Constitution to define the word "person" as every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or equivalent thereof. Hosemann received and stamped document.

"As someone who is personally pro-life, I admire our citizens' statement regarding the preservation of human life and their commitment to this being part of our Constitution," said Secretary Hosemann. "I am pleased to receive the signatures today, and I commend the efforts of the thousands of Mississippians who circulated and signed the petition."

State law requires that after the initiative sponsor secures the required number of certified signatures, including the required number of certified signatures from each congressional district, the initiative sponsor submits the entire petition as a single unit to the Secretary of State.

For an initiative measure to be placed on the ballot, a minimum of 89,285 certified signatures must be gathered, with at least 17,857 certified signatures from each of the five congressional districts as they existed in the year 2000.

By law, the Secretary of State must reject any petition that:

  • Is not in the required form
  • Clearly bears insufficient signatures
  • Lacks the $500 filing fee
  • Contains one or more signatures obtained in violation of Mississippi Ann Code §23-17-17(2), §23-17-57(2), §23-17-57(3)
  • That the time within which the petition may be filed has expired

Once a valid initiative petition is submitted to and filed by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of State must submit the initiative to the Legislature on the first day of the next regular session.

The text of the original initiative will appear on the next statewide general election ballot written exactly as lawfully submitted by the sponsor. However, the Legislature may choose to place an alternative version of the initiative on the ballot as well.

In that case, both the original initiative and the Legislature's alternative version must appear on the ballot, and the voter may either reject both or choose between them.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.