Photo: “Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) caucus group,” by Herbert Randall, 1964
Provided by the McCain Library and Archives, University of Southern Mississippi
Reprinted with permission of Herbert Randall
COFO MATERIAL ON FREEDOM SUMMER
[Editors’ Note: This is a Collection of teaching material suggested in the Lesson Plan of Unit VII, Part 2. Include also COFO Pamphlets in the Introductory Documents.]
MISSISSIPPI VOTER REGISTRATION FORM (Regular)
Reproduced below is a facsimile of the form currently in use for registration: 7/23/64
SWORN WRITTEN APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION
(by reason of the prospectus of Section 244 of the Constitution of Mississippi and House Bill No. 95, approved March 24, 1955, the applicant is required to fill in this form in his own handwriting in the presence of the registrar and without assistance or suggestion of any other person or memorandum.)
1. Write the date of this application___________________________________
2. What is your full name?__________________________________________
3. State your age and date of birth:____________________________________
4. What is your occupation?_________________________________________
5. Where is your business carried on?__________________________________
6. By whom are you employed?_______________________________________
7. Are you a citizen of the United States and inhabitant of Mississippi?________
8. For how long have you resided in Mississippi?_________________________
9. Where is your place of residence in the District?________________________
10. Specify the date when such residence began: __________________________
11. State your prior place of residence, if any: ____________________________
12. Check which oath you desire to take: (1) General ______________________
(2) Minister’s__________ (3) Minister’s Wife_________________________
(4) If under 21 years at present, but 21 years by date of general election _____
13. If there is more than one person of your same name in the precinct, by what name do you wish to be called _________________________________________________
14. Have you ever been convicted of any of the following bribery, theft, arson, obtaining money or goods under false pretenses, perjury, forgery, embezzlement, or bigamy?______________________________________________________________
15. If your answer to Question 14 is “Yes”, name the crime or crimes of which you have been convicted, and the date and place of such or convictions:_______________
16. Are you a minister of the gospel in charge of an organization, church, or the wife of such a minister?______________________________________________________
17. If your answer to Question 16 is “Yes”, state the length of your residence in the election district:________________________________________________________
18. Write and copy in the space below: Section _________of the Constitution of Mississippi: (Instruction to Registrar: You will designate the section of the Constitution and point out same to applicant.)
19. Write in the space below a reasonable interpretation (the meaning) of the section of the Constitution of Mississippi which you have just copied:
20. Write in the space below a statement setting forth your understanding of the duties and obligations of citizenship under a constitutional form of government.
21. Sign and attach hereto the oath or affirmation named in Question 12.
The applicant will sign his name here.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI COUNTY OF______________________________
Sworn to and subscribed before me by the within named__________________
__________________on this the ___________day of ____19_____.
FREEDOM REGISTRATION FORM
(1) Write today’s date_________________________________________
(2) Write your full name_______________________________________
(3) How old are you today______________________________________
(4) Are you a United States citizen_______________________________
(5) How long have you lived in Mississippi________________________
(6) What county do you live in__________________________________
(7) How long have you lived in that county ________________________
(8) What is your address now___________________________________
(9) Are you a minister or the wife of a minister_____________________
All of the statements above are true_________________________________
(signature of applicant)
Do not write below this line
State of Mississippi, County of_____________________________________
Sworn to and subscribed before me by the above named_________________
on this, the _____day of ____________, 196_.
SAMPLE SECTIONS OF THE MISSISSIPPI CONSTITUTION
Section 8. All persons, resident in this state, citizens of the United States, are hereby declared citizens of the State of Mississippi.
Sample interpretation: Anybody who lives in Mississippi and is an American citizen is also a citizen of the State of Mississippi.
Section 30. There shall be no imprisonment for debt.
Sample interpretation: A person can not be put in jail just because he owes money.
Now write your own interpretations for the sections given below.
Section 14. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, except by due process of law.
Section 20. No person shall be elected or appointed to office in this state for life or during good behavior, but the term of all offices shall be for some specified period.
Section 21. The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in the case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it, nor ever without the authority of the Legislature.
Section 22. No person’s life or liberty shall be twice placed in jeopardy for the same offense; but there must be an actual acquittal or conviction on the merits to bar another prosecution.
Section 23. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, and possessions, from unreasonable seizure or search; and no warrant shall be issued without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, especially designating the place to be searched and the person or thing to be seized.
Section 32. The enumeration of rights in this constitution shall not be construed to deny and impair others retained by, and inherent in, the people.
Section 209. Separate schools shall be maintained for children of the white and colored races.
The Mississippi Registration Form is from:
SNCC, The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Papers, 1959-1972 (Sanford, NC: Microfilming Corporation of America, 1982) Reel 39, File 165, Page 0087.
The Freedom Registration Form (see back of the COFO Pamphlet: Freedom Registration) and the Sample Sections of the Mississippi Constitution are from the:
Iris Greenberg / Freedom Summer Collection, 1963-1964
Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books Division,
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture,
The New York Public Library;
Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations