Ballot access requirements for political candidates in Mississippi

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Policypedia
Policypedia-Election logo.jpg

Ballot access for major and minor party candidates
Redistricting
State ballot access information
AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming
See also
This page contains extensive information about ballot access requirements for state and federal candidates running for elected office in the state of Mississippi. Offices included are:

This page contains information on specific filing dates for each election year, how to become a candidate, how to create a political party, campaign finance requirements, state agency contacts involved in the election process, and term limits in Mississippi. Information on running for election as a presidential candidate or for county and municipal offices is not included. This page reflects research completed in April 2014.

Note: If you have any questions or comments about this page, email us.

Year-specific dates

2014

See also: Mississippi elections, 2014

Mississippi held a primary election on June 3, 2014. The general election took place on November 4, 2014. Voters elected candidates to serve in the following state and federal offices:

The filing deadline for candidates running in the primary election was March 1, 2014. For independent candidates running in the general election the deadline was also March 1, 2014. The process to create a new political party for the 2014 elections also follows these filing deadlines.[1][2]

Legend:      Ballot access     Campaign finance     Election date




Dates and requirements for candidates in 2014
Deadline Event type Event description
March 1, 2014 Ballot access Filing deadline for both party candidates running in the primary and independent candidates seeking ballot placement for the general election
May 27, 2014 Campaign finance Pre-Election Report (primary candidates - January 1, 2014 - May 24, 2014)
June 3, 2014 Election date Primary election date
June 17, 2014 Campaign finance Pre-Election Report (runoff candidates only - May 25, 2014 - June 14, 2014)
June 24, 2014 Election date Second primary election date (if necessary)
October 28, 2014 Campaign finance Pre-Election Report (June 15, 2014 - October 25, 2014)
November 4, 2014 Election date General election date
November 18, 2014 Campaign finance Pre-Election Report (runoff candidates only - October 26, 2014 - November 15, 2014)
November 25, 2014 Election date General election runoff (if necessary)
January 30, 2015 Campaign finance Annual Report (January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014)

Political parties

See also: List of political parties in the United States

As of September 2013, there were nine recognized political parties in Mississippi.[1] To be officially recognized by the state, a party must fulfill certain requirements (detailed below, under "Process to establish a political party").

Party Website link By-laws/platform link
Libertarian http://mslp.org/ Party by-laws
Reform Party http://reformpartyms.net/ National party platform
Natural Law http://www.natural-law.org/index.html Party platform
Justice Party https://web.archive.org/web/2/http://mississippi.justicepartyusa.net/ Party by-laws (timed out)
Green Party http://www.greenpartyms.com/ Party platform
Republican http://www.msgop.org/ Party platform
Democratic http://www.mississippidemocrats.org/ Party platform
Constitution Party http://msconstitutionparty.wordpress.com/ National party platform (dead link)
America First Party https://web.archive.org/web/2/http://mississippi.americafirstparty.org/ Party platform

In some states, a candidate may choose to have a label other than that of an officially recognized party appear alongside his or her name on the ballot. Such labels are called political party designations. A political party designation would be used when a candidate qualifies as an independent, but prefers to use a different label. Mississippi does not allow candidates to identify in this way. A total of 25 states allow candidates to use political party designations in non-presidential elections.[3]

The 11 states listed below (and Washington, D.C.) do not provide a process for political organizations to gain qualified status in advance of an election. Instead, in these states, an aspirant party must first field candidates using party designations. If the candidate or candidates win the requisite votes, the organization may then be recognized as an official political party. In these states, a political party can be formed only if the candidate in the general election obtains a specific number of votes. The number of votes required and type of race vary from state to state. Details can be found on the state-specific requirements pages.[4]

Process to establish a political party

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Title 23, Chapter 15, Article 35 of the Mississippi Code

The process to establish a new political party in Mississippi is among the simplest in the country. Unlike many other states, Mississippi does not require aspirant parties to submit petitions, pay fees, or win a minimum number of votes to maintain recognized status.

The chairman of the state executive committee of a political party must submit an application for registration of the political party to the Secretary of State within 30 days of party organization in order to be recognized. The registration must designate the name of the political party and the names of all organizations officially sanctioned by the party. No political party is permitted to use or register a name that is the same as or "deceptively similar to" the name of a political body or officially sanctioned organization that has already registered with the Secretary of State.[5]

The application for registration must be accompanied by an affidavit that includes the following information:[6]

  • The names of the members of the state executive committee
  • Names of the chairman and secretary of the committee
  • Names of national committeeman and committeewoman
  • Names of officers
  • A statement verifying that the executive committee and all officers were elected in accordance with the provisions of Section 23-15-1053 of the Mississippi Code.
    • According to Section 23-15-1053 of the Mississippi Code, the state executive committee of each political party may determine the method and procedures by which state executive committee and county executive committee members are selected, provided that these methods and procedures are in accordance with applicable federal laws and national party rules. The state executive committee of a party must establish these procedures at least 90 days prior to their implementation. A copy of any rule or regulation adopted by the state executive committee must be submitted to the Secretary of State within seven days after its adoption. Such rules and regulations are a matter of public record.[7]

Process to become a candidate

Figure 1: This is a petition form for independent candidates running for election in Mississippi.
Quick facts about Lieutenant Governors
  • 45 states have Lt. governors, 43 of them fill the office by election
  • 21 states elect Lt. governors on a single ticket with the governor at both the primary and general elections
  • 5 states elect Lt. governors separately from Governors at the primary and then put the top two vote-getters together on the general election ballot
  • 17 states, including Mississippi, elect Lt. governors separately from the Governor

For party candidates

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Title 23, Chapter 15, Article 11 of the Mississippi Code

A candidate seeking the nomination of his or her party for federal or state office (including seats in the Mississippi State Legislature) must submit a Statement of Intent to his or her party and pay a filing fee, also to be submitted to the party. The deadline for receipt of these materials by the state executive committee of the party is set by statute as 5:00 p.m. on March 1.[8] The Statement of Intent is a form prescribed by the Secretary of State and must include the name and address of the candidate, the party with which the candidate is affiliated, and the office sought.[8]

Filing fees are set by statute and are as follows:[9]

Office Fee
Governor, U.S. Senator $300
Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Auditor of Public Accounts, Commissioner of Insurance, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, Public Service Commissioner, State Highway Commissioner, U.S. Representative $200
State Senator, State Representative $15

For independent candidates

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Title 23, Chapter 15, Article 13, Part B of the Mississippi Code

Independent candidates for federal or state office (including seats in the Mississippi State Legislature) must petition to appear on the ballot. The form of petitions is prescribed by the Secretary of State, and completed petitions must be submitted to the Secretary of State by 5:00 p.m. on March 1. Signature requirements are as follows:[10]

Office Required signatures
For offices elected by the state at large (e.g., U.S. Senator, Governor, Attorney General, etc.) At least 1,000 signatures
For an office elected by congressional district (e.g., U.S. Representative) At least 200 signatures
For an office elected by state senatorial or representative district (e.g., State Senator, State Representative) At least 50 signatures

Petitions must be accompanied by a Qualifying Statement of Intent (a form prescribed by the Secretary of State similar to the Statement of Intent filed by party candidates). Petition signatures must be verified by the appropriate Circuit Clerk in the county in which signatures were collected before being submitted to the Secretary of State for final approval. Independent candidates do not have to pay filing fees.[11]

For write-in candidates

The relevant statutes do not indicate that write-in candidates must file any special paperwork or pay any filing fees in order to have their votes tallied.

Petition requirements

In some cases, political parties and/or candidates may need to obtain signatures via the petition process to gain access to the ballot. This section outlines the laws and regulations pertaining to petitions and circulators in Mississippi.

The form of petitions is prescribed by the Secretary of State. Petitions must include the following information:[12]

  • Name of the county or district in which signatures were collected
  • Name of the candidate
  • Date and type of the election (i.e., general election or special election)
  • Name of the office being sought.

Signers must include, in addition to their signatures, their printed names, addresses and precincts.[12] Petition forms may be obtained from the Circuit Clerk or the Secretary of State's office.

The statutes do not specify a date on which petitions may begin circulating, but petitions cannot be submitted to the Circuit Clerk for verification prior to January 1 of the election year.[13]

The relevant statutes do not specify residency requirements or other regulations for petition circulators.

Campaign finance

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Title 97, Chapter 13, Section 15 of the Mississippi Code

Campaign finance requirements

All candidates are required by law to submit regular campaign finance disclosure reports. A candidate is defined as any person who has filed qualifying papers or has spent or received over $200 in aggregate for the purposes of an election campaign. Once the filing deadline has passed, everyone who has submitted qualifying papers is considered a candidate, regardless of the amount spent or received on the campaign.[14]

If a candidate opts to authorize a political committee to act on his or her behalf, the committee must file a statement of organization within 10 days of receiving or spending more than $200. The Statement of Organization must include the following information:[14]

  1. Names and addresses of the committee members and all officers
  2. Must designate a Director and Treasurer
  3. Must include the name, office sought, and party affiliation (if applicable) of the candidate

The form of the statement is prescribed by the Secretary of State.[15]

All reports must include the following types of information:[16]

  • Aggregate year-to-date totals: Grand totals of contributions received and grand totals of expenditures and disbursements made
  • Contributions: Itemized listing of every person, business or entity contributing aggregate year-to-date totals of more than $200; information must include the name, address, occupation and employer of the contributor, as well as the date and amount of the contribution
  • Disbursements: Itemized listing of every person, business or entity receiving aggregate year-to-date totals of more than $200; information must include the name and address of the recipient, as well as the date and amount of the expenditure

In addition to regularly scheduled disclosure reports, candidates and committees must report contributions of more than $200 received between the 10th day and 48 hours before 12:01 a.m. on the date of the election.[16]

Candidates for statewide and state legislative office submit reports to the Secretary of State. Reporting forms are prescribed by the Secretary of State's office.[16]

Report due dates for 2014 are as follows:[16]

Deadline Report Reporting period
May 27, 2014 Pre-Election Report (primary candidates) January 1, 2014 - May 24, 2014
June 17, 2014 Pre-Election Report (runoff candidates only) May 25, 2014 - June 14, 2014
October 28, 2014 Pre-Election Report June 15, 2014 - October 25, 2014
November 18, 2014 Pre-Election Report (runoff candidates only) October 26, 2014 - November 15, 2014
January 30, 2015 Annual Report January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014

Candidates and committees must file regular reports until they file a termination report. A termination report can be filed when contributions are no longer being accepted, expenditures are no longer being made, and there are no outstanding debts or obligations associated with the candidate's or committee's activities.[16]

Contribution limits

There are no limits on most types of campaign contributions in Mississippi.[17] Corporations may not contribute more than $1,000 per calendar year "for the purpose of aiding any political party or any candidate for any public office, or any candidate for any nomination for any public office of any political party."[18]

Election-related agencies

See also: State election agencies

Candidates running for office may require some form of interaction with the following agencies:

  • Mississippi Secretary of State
Why: This agency provides and processes qualifying paperwork (for independent candidates; partisan candidates submit to their parties).
Physical Address: Heber Ladner Building, 401 Mississippi Street, Jackson, Mississippi 39201-1004
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 136, Jackson, MS 39205-0136
Telephone: 601.576.2550
Toll Free: 1.800.829.6786
Fax: 404-651-9531
http://www.sos.ms.gov/elections.aspx
  • Mississippi Ethics Commission
Why: This agency administers the state's campaign finance reporting laws.
Physical Address: 660 North Street, Suite 100-C, Jackson, MS 39202
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 22746, Jackson, MS 39225-2746
Telephone: (601) 359-1285
Fax: (601) 359-1292
Email: info@ethics.state.ms.us
http://www.ethics.state.ms.us/

Counties

See also: Counties in Mississippi

A candidate may need to file a number of documents with the county elections office in the county he or she resides in. Individual county contact information can be found below. In the table below, if a website or email address is not provided it is because one does not exist for this municipality. To provide a link or information for the table below, please email us.

Term limits

State executives

Portal:State Executive Officials
See also: State executives with term limits and States with gubernatorial term limits

State executive term limits are established in Article 5 of the Constitution of the State of Mississippi and are as follows:[19]

There were no state executive offices up for election in 2014, so none were affected by term limits.

State legislators

See also: State legislatures with term limits

Mississippi does not place term limits on state legislators.

Congressional partisanship

Portal:Congress
See also: List of United States Representatives from Mississippi and List of United States Senators from Mississippi

Here is the current partisan breakdown of the congressional members from Mississippi:

Congressional Partisan Breakdown from Mississippi
Party U.S. Senate U.S. House Total
     Democratic Party 0 1 1
     Republican Party 2 3 5
TOTALS as of December 2014 2 4 6

State legislative partisanship

Portal:State legislatures

Here is the current partisan breakdown of members of the state legislature of Mississippi:

Senate

Party As of December 2014
     Democratic Party 20
     Republican Party 31
     Independent 1
Total 52


House

Party As of December 2014
     Democratic Party 56
     Republican Party 66
Total 122


Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Mississippi + ballot + access"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Mississippi ballot access news feed

  • Loading...

See also

External links

Official state and federal links

Forms

Other information

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Ballotpedia phone call with Mississippi Secretary of State Office, September 10, 2013
  2. Mississippi Secretary of State, "2014 Mississippi Elections Candidate Qualifying Guide," accessed January 17, 2014 (dead link)
  3. Mississippi Code Annotated, "Title 23, Chapter 15, Section 359," accessed December 5, 2013
  4. E-mail consultation with ballot access expert Richard Winger in January 2014.
  5. Mississippi Code of 1972, "Title 23, Chapter 15, Article 35, Section 1059," accessed January 20, 2014
  6. Mississippi Code of 1972, "Title 23, Chapter 15, Article 35, Section 1061," accessed January 20, 2014
  7. Mississippi Code of 1972, "Title 23, Chapter 15, Article 35, Section 1053," accessed January 20, 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 Mississippi Code of 1972, "Title 23, Chapter 15, Article 11, Section 299," accessed January 20, 2014
  9. Mississippi Code of 1972, "Title 23, Chapter 15, Article 11, Section 297," accessed January 20, 2014
  10. Mississippi Code of 1972, "Title 23, Chapter 15, Article 13, Part B, Section 359," accessed January 20, 2014
  11. Mississippi Secretary of State, "2014 Mississippi Elections Candidate Qualifying Guide," accessed January 20, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 Mississippi Secretary of State, "Candidate Petition - Independent Candidate," accessed January 20, 2014
  13. Mississippi Secretary of State, "2014 Mississippi Elections Candidate Qualifying Guide," accessed January 20, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 Mississippi Secretary of State, "2014 Campaign Finance Guide: Ensuring Compliance and Improving Disclosure," accessed January 20, 2014
  15. Mississippi Secretary of State, "Statement of Organization for a Political Committee," accessed January 20, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Mississippi Secretary of State, "2014 Mississippi Elections Candidate Qualifying Guide," accessed January 20, 2014 (dead link)
  17. National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Limits on Contributions to Candidates," updated October 2013
  18. Mississippi Code of 1972, "Title 97, Chapter 13, Section 15," accessed January 20, 2014
  19. Mississippi Constitution, "Article V, Section 116 and 128," accessed November 14, 2013