Voting in Mississippi

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Mississippi does not permit online voter registration or early voting. It does, however, allow absentee voting, although voters must provide a valid excuse to do so. Mississippi voters are required to provide photo identification in order to receive a ballot.

For full information about voting in Mississippi, contact the state election agency.

Registration

Mississippi utilizes a mixed primary system. A voter does not have to register with a party, but he or she must intend to support the party nominations if he or she votes in the primary election.[1]

You must meet the following requirements to qualify for voter registration in Mississippi:

Be a U.S. citizen. Be at least 18 years old by the next general election. Be a resident of Mississippi and your county for at least 30 days. NOT declared mentally incompetent by a court. NOT convicted of a felony.[2]

—Mississippi Department of Motor Vehicles[3]

When and where

The deadline for registration is 30 days prior to the election.[3]

In Mississippi, you can register to vote by mail and in person.

Just submit a completed Mississippi Voter Registration Application to the office of your local county circuit clerk or Mississippi DPS office when completing a driver’s license transaction.

If you’re registering for the first time by mail and do not have a driver’s license or Social Security number, you must enclose:

  • A copy of your current and valid photo identification or
  • A copy of your current utility bill, bank statement, or paycheck.[2]

—Mississippi Department of Motor Vehicles[3]

Online registration

See also: Online voter registration in the 50 states

As of April 2015, Mississippi is one of 30 states that have not implemented full online voter registration.

Voting on Election Day

Voter identification

See also: Voter identification laws by state

Voters are required to present photo identification in order to vote in person. A photo ID is not required to vote absentee.[4]

Mississippi's 2011 voter ID constitutional amendment required an implementing statute and faced United States Department of Justice (DOJ) pre-clearance before it could take effect. In October 2012, the DOJ requested additional information about the law. Mississippi voters, therefore, did not have to show proof of identification to vote in the November 6, 2012 elections.[5] In January 2013, proposed administrative rules for the voter photo identification law were submitted to the DOJ for approval. These rules included a provision allowing for voters who lack an acceptable photo ID to obtain a free voter photo ID card by presenting the same identification materials accepted when a person registers to vote.[6] Once Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act was overturned by the United States Supreme Court on July 25, 2013, federal pre-approval was no longer required. As a result, the 2011 voter ID amendment went into effect.[7][8] The voter ID law was used for the first time for the June 3, 2014 primary.[9]

Poll times

See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times

All polling places in Mississippi are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central Time.[10]

Absentee voting

See also: Absentee voting

Eligibility

You are eligible to vote absentee in an election if you cannot make it to the polls on Election Day for one of the following reasons:[11]

  • You will be outside the county on Election Day.
  • You are an enlisted or commissioned member of any component of the United States Armed Forces, or spouse or dependent of such member.
  • You are a Member of the Merchant Marine or the American Red Cross, or spouse or dependent of such member.
  • You are a disabled war veteran who is a patient in any hospital, or the spouse or dependent of such veteran.
  • You are a civilian attached to and serving outside of the United States with any branch of the Armed Forces or with the Merchant Marine or American Red Cross, or spouse or dependent of such civilian.
  • You are a citizen of Mississippi temporarily residing outside the territorial limits of the United States and the District of Columbia.
  • You are a student, teacher or administrator at a college, university, junior or community college, high, junior high, elementary or grade school, whose studies or employment at such institution necessitates your absence from the county of your voting residence or spouse or dependent of such student, teacher or administrator
  • You have a temporary or permanent physical disability.
  • You are sixty-five (65) years of age or older.
  • You are the parent, spouse or dependent of a person with a temporary or permanent physical disability who is hospitalized outside his or her county of residence or more than fifty (50) miles away from his or her residence, and you will be with such person on Election Day.
  • You are a member of the congressional delegation, or spouse or dependent of a member of the congressional delegation.
  • You are required to be at work on Election Day during the times at which the polls will be open.[2]

Deadlines

There is no specific deadline for applying for an absentee ballot. The ballot must be returned by 5 p.m. on the day before the election.[11]

Military and overseas voting

For full details regarding military and overseas voting, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

Early voting

See also: Early voting

Mississippi is one of 14 states that do not allow early voting.[12]

Election policy ballot measures

Voting on
elections and campaigns
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Ballot measures
By state
By year
Not on ballot
See also: Elections and campaigns on the ballot and List of Mississippi ballot measures

Ballotpedia has tracked the following ballot measures relating to election and campaign policy in Mississippi.

  1. Mississippi Voter Identification Amendment, Initiative 27 (2011)

Recent news

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See also

Elections in Mississippi

External links

References