Mississippi

Step 1: Apply

Can I vote-by-mail in my state?


It is unclear. The Secretary of State has left it up to local circuit clerks to determine whether or not a voter concerned about Coronavirus should be allowed to vote-by-mail. Mississippi usually requires an excuse to vote-by-mail and unfortunately, these excuses will be interpreted differently throughout the state. Follow the application steps below. Click here to register as a new voter or to check your existing registration. (It's always a good idea to double-check.) https://www.msegov.com/sos/voter_registration/amiregistered/Search




Are there any other restrictions or requirements to apply?


If you live in an area without house numbers or street names, please include a drawing of your location to enable us to identify your appropriate voting precinct. If you are registering for the first time in Mississippi and DO NOT have a Mississippi driver’s license or social security number, you must send with this application a copy of a current and valid photo ID or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows your name and address in this county.




Who is allowed to vote-by-mail?


***Mississippi has left the power to determine who may vote absentee to the local circuit clerks. There is a pending lawsuit aiming clarify that all registered voters can apply to vote-by-mail.*** You can vote absentee in person if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • you will be away from your county of residence on Election Day for any reason;
  • you are required to be at work on Election Day during voting hours;
  • you have a temporary or permanent physical disability and cannot vote without substantial hardship; (use this for concerns over Coronavirus)
  • you are 65 years old or older;
  • you are temporarily residing out of your county;
  • you are the parent, spouse, or dependent of a person who is hospitalized outside of your county of residence or 50+ miles from your residence, and you will be with that person on Election Day.
If you meet any of these qualifications, you can cast an in-person absentee ballot at the circuit clerk’s office. Go to your circuit clerk’s office during business hours. You can fill out your application and cast your ballot all at once. You can vote absentee by mail if you:
  • are temporarily residing outside the county,
  • have a temporary or permanent physical disability, (use this for concerns over Coronavirus)
  • are sixty-five (65) years of age or older, OR
  • are the parent, spouse or dependent of a temporarily or permanently physically disabled person who is hospitalized outside of your county of residence or more than 50 miles away from your residence and you will be with the person on election day.
Apply for an absentee ballot. If you fall into ANY of the above categories, you may apply for a mail-in absentee ballot from your circuit clerk by mail. If you apply for an absentee ballot by mail, your application MUST be notarized unless you have a temporary or permanent physical disability. If you have a physical disability, your application MUST be witnessed by a person who is over 18 years old. To have your ballot witnessed, mark the ballot in front of the witness and ask the witness to sign the certificate on the ballot before you send it. If you have a permanent physical disability, you can sign up to automatically receive an absentee ballot in the mail for every election without submitting a new application. With your application, send a signed letter from a licensed doctor or nurse practitioner explaining that your permanent disability makes it difficult for you to vote in person. If you meet the criteria to become a mail-in absentee and your application is approved, a ballot will be sent to you.




Application form link:


Mississippi does not post their absentee application online. They are the only state in the country to deliberately withhold this form from their voters.




Where should I send my completed application?


Without seeing the form, we don't know where to tell you to return it. Call your local election office to ask for help. https://www.sos.ms.gov/Elections-Voting/Pages/County-Election-Info.aspx




When is the application due?


Technically, there is no specific deadline to return your application before the election. To avoid delays within the election office and the postal service, we recommend you send it immediately and no later than the middle of October. New voters must register by October 5, 2020.




***Shenanigan Alerts***


Things to look out for: Mississippi usually requires an excuse to vote-by-mail and unfortunately, these excuses will be interpreted differently throughout the state because the Secretary of State has left the power to determine who may vote absentee to the local circuit clerks. There is a pending lawsuit aiming clarify that all registered voters can apply to vote-by-mail. Until this is settled, there's no way to know ahead of time if your concern over Coronavirus will be deemed a valid excuse or not. Mississippi also does not post their absentee application online. They are the only state in the country to deliberately withhold this form from their voters. Ballots must be returned before Election Day if you are voting absentee. (1 day if by mail and 3 days if delivered in person)




I have a question that wasn't answered here.


Please call the county election office where you live. They are in charge of elections and should be able to help you. https://www.sos.ms.gov/Elections-Voting/Pages/County-Election-Info.aspx




What if I don't qualify to vote-by-mail?


It can be frustrating to learn that different states have different rules for voting. Where you live shouldn't affect your right to vote safely. If you are a Mississippi resident and you want to vote-by-mail, call your elected officials. Pressure from constituents matters. Other states have changed their requirements this year due to concern over Coronavirus. At this time, only five other states have the kind of restrictive regulations Mississippi imposes on a county-by-county basis. Enter your address in the link below. Call the offices of your governor and state legislators listed at the bottom. https://www.270towin.com/elected-officials/





Step 2: Vote-by-Mail

When do I have to mail or drop off my completed ballot?


Technically, ballots must be received by mail by 5pm, 1 day before Election Day (November 2, 2020) or in person 3 days before Election Day (October 31, 2020). To avoid delays within the election office and the postal service, we recommend you return your voted ballot as soon as it arrives and no later than the middle of October. You may also drop your ballot at your local election office. It's a good idea to call and check first. https://www.sos.ms.gov/Elections-Voting/Pages/County-Election-Info.aspx




Does it require a stamp? Two?


Read the outside of the envelope to see if additional postage may be required. The US Postal service will deliver any ballot, regardless of whether or not it has the correct postage, or any at all. They will charge the local election office for any unpaid postage. https://time.com/4547550/absentee-mail-ballot-postage-stamp-postal-service-usps/




Can my ballot be dropped off at a polling site or dedicated drop box?


Call your county election office to find out about the location or availability of any drop boxes. https://www.sos.ms.gov/Elections-Voting/Pages/County-Election-Info.aspx Completed ballots can not be dropped off at a polling place on Election Day.




Is there any way to check if my ballot was received?


There is no electronic way to track your ballot. You may call your local election office to ask them if they have received your absentee ballot. https://www.sos.ms.gov/Elections-Voting/Pages/County-Election-Info.aspx




I have a question that wasn't answered here.


Please call the county election office where you live. They are in charge of elections and should be able to help you. https://www.sos.ms.gov/Elections-Voting/Pages/County-Election-Info.aspx





Early In-Person Voting

Does my state offer any in-person early voting days?


No.




I have a question that wasn't answered here.


Please call the county election office where you live. They are in charge of elections and should be able to help you. https://www.sos.ms.gov/Elections-Voting/Pages/County-Election-Info.aspx





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