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Mississippi Voter Guide

This guide is available in other languages: Español · Tiếng Việt

When you cast your ballot, you will contribute to the centuries-old struggle for justice and equality in the U.S. and push forward for representation and policy that reflects your needs and interests. Through the “Our Future, Our Vote” initiative, the Southern Poverty Law Center is committed to ensuring you can do so.

This voting guide for the state of Mississippi includes information on how to manage changes to state law and provides resources for more help if you need it.

In this Guide

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Key Dates

What are the key voting dates and deadlines for the Nov. 8 general elections?

  • Voter Registration Deadline: Oct. 10, 2022
  • General election: Nov. 8, 2022

Before Election Day

Who can register to vote?

Every U.S. citizen with the following qualifications is eligible to register to vote in Mississippi:

  • A resident of Mississippi and the county, city or town for 30 days prior to the election.
  • At least 18 years old (or will be 18 by the date of the next general election).
  • Not declared mentally incompetent by a court.
  • Not convicted of a disenfranchising crime as defined by Section 241 of the Mississippi Constitution or by Attorney General Opinion, unless pardoned, rights of citizenship restored by the governor or suffrage rights restored by the Legislature.

How do I register to vote?

Register to vote by Monday, Oct. 10 (whether in person or by mail) for the Nov. 8, 2022, general election. For all elections, you may register in person 30 days before Election Day, or by mail with your form postmarked 30 days before Election Day.

You can register in person or by mail.

  • You can register to vote in person at any of the following locations:
    • Circuit Clerk’s Office.
    • Municipal Clerk’s Office.
    • Department of Public Safety.
    • Any state or federal agency offering government services, such as the Department of Human Services.
  • Mississippi does not currently offer online voter registration.

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How do I check my registration or update it if I moved?

Visit Y’all Vote.

Can I vote early?

Mississippi does not currently offer a regular in-person early voting period. However, you may qualify for absentee voting where you could vote before Election Day in some limited circumstances. See below.

What about absentee voting?

Mississippi requires an excuse to vote by absentee ballot. If you qualify, absentee voting is available either in person at your county circuit clerk’s office, or via mail.

Election Day

When do I vote?

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022. Anyone standing in line at 7 p.m. has the right to stay to vote.

Where do I vote?

You can check your polling place online. Polling locations can change so you may want to verify before leaving the house.

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Don’t forget your photo ID!

All Mississippi voters casting a ballot in person at the polls or casting an absentee ballot in the Circuit or Municipal Clerk’s Office must present one of the following forms of acceptable photo ID:

  • A driver’s license
  • A government issued photo ID card
  • A U.S. passport
  • A government employee photo identification card
  • A firearms license
  • A student photo ID issued by an accredited Mississippi university, college or community/junior college
  • A United States military photo ID
  • A tribal photo ID
  • Any other photo ID issued by any branch, department, agency or entity of the U.S. government or any state government
  • A Mississippi Voter Identification Card

When should I use a provisional ballot (called “affidavit ballot” in Mississippi)?

You have the right to cast an affidavit ballot (which is often referred to as a “provisional ballot” in other states) if a poll worker tells you they cannot establish your eligibility to vote (e.g., your name does not appear on their voter registration list), but you believe you registered and are eligible to vote. The poll worker should offer you the opportunity to vote by provisional ballot. If they do not, you have a legal right to request one. The Help America Vote Act, a federal law, guarantees all voters the right to vote by provisional ballot. Before completing your provisional ballot, be sure to verify with the poll worker that you are in the correct polling place, even if you are not listed in the poll book.

In Mississippi, if you do not present an acceptable form of photo ID or are unable to do so because of a religious objection, you are entitled to cast an affidavit ballot (which is the same thing as provisional ballot). To make sure it counts, you must bring an acceptable form of photo ID or complete an Affidavit of Religious Objection in the Circuit or Municipal Clerk’s Office within 5 business days after Election Day.

Voting If You Have Been Impacted by the Justice System

Can I vote from jail?

Yes. Mississippi voters not convicted of a felony who are in jail awaiting trial can request an absentee ballot. See information on absentee voting above.

Can I vote if I am a returning citizen?

If you are a returning citizen (i.e., person previously incarcerated), you may register to vote if you have not been convicted in a Mississippi court of arson, armed robbery, bigamy, bribery, carjacking, embezzlement, extortion, felony bad check, felony shoplifting, forgery, larceny, murder, obtaining money or goods under false pretense, perjury, rape, receiving stolen property, robbery, statutory rape, theft, timber larceny, larceny under lease or rental agreement or unlawful taking of motor vehicle.

If you have been convicted in a Mississippi court of any offense listed above, unless you have received a pardon from the governor for that crime, the process to request the restoration of your voting rights involves the following steps:

  1. Contact your state representative or senator for your county.
  2. The legislator fills out an affidavit for the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). MDOC then provides the applicant’s name, county, crime of conviction, and sentence served to the legislator.
  3. The legislator introduces a bill on behalf of the applicant to their respective Judiciary Committee (House or Senate).
  4. Both chambers (House and Senate) must pass the bill by a two-thirds majority vote.
  5. If the governor does not veto the bill, you are eligible to register to vote.
  6. Finally, register to vote at your local Circuit Clerk’s office.

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Know Your Rights

What if I would like assistance to vote?

All polling places must be accessible to elderly individuals and individuals with disabilities. In federal elections, each polling place must have an accessible voting system that allows people with disabilities to vote privately and independently, using assistive technology or equipment.

In addition, according to Section 208 of the federal Voting Rights Act, “Any voter who requires assistance to vote by reason of blindness, disability, or inability to read or write may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer or agent of that employer or officer or agent of the voter's union.” This federal law applies to all elections in all states and supersedes any state law. No proof of disability, illiteracy or limited English proficiency is required.

Specifically per Mississippi state law, voters who require assistance marking the ballot because of disability, blindness or an inability to read or write are entitled to receive assistance from a person of the voter’s choice, excluding, a candidate whose name is on the ballot, or the spouse, parent, sibling or child of a candidate whose name is on the ballot, or by a poll watcher who is observing in the polling place on Election Day, or the voter’s employer or agent of that employer, or officer or agent of the voter’s union; unless, however, a candidate for office or the spouse, parent or child of a candidate is related within the first degree to the voter requesting assistance.

Can I assist other voters?

Yes, unless you are one of the following:

  • Candidate whose name is on the ballot, or their spouse, parent, sibling or child (unless the voter asking for assistance is related within the first degree).
  • Poll watcher who is observing the polling place on Election Day.
  • Voter’s employer or agent of the employer.
  • Officer or agent of the voter’s union.

Are voting materials available in languages other than English?

Yes. You may access voting materials in Spanish online. In addition, all voting materials must be provided in the Choctaw language and English in the following counties: Attala, Carroll, Jackson, Jones, Kemper, Leake, Neshoba, Newton, Noxubee, Scott, and Winston. “Voting materials” includes registration or voting notices, such as newspaper notices and website information; forms; instructions; assistance; or other materials or information relating to the electoral process, including ballots. If any voting materials in the above counties are not available in the Choctaw language, please contact:

  • On Election Day - The Election Protection hotlines:
    • 866-OUR-VOTE (English)
    • 888-VE-Y-VOTA (Spanish/ English)
    • 888-API-VOTE (Asian languages/ English)
    • 844-YALLA-US (Arabic/ English)

Remember, if you need assistance in voting because you have trouble reading or writing in English, you may receive assistance from a person of your choice. (See “What if I would like assistance to vote?” above.)

What if I witness or experience voter intimidation?

Voter intimidation is conduct intended to compel prospective voters to vote against their preferences, or to not vote at all, through activity that is reasonably calculated to instill fear.

Federal law expressly prohibits voter intimidation. The following conduct near polling places is likely illegal voter intimidation:

  • Violent behavior or verbal threats inside or outside the polling place.
    Confronting voters while wearing military-style or official-looking uniforms.
    displaying firearms.
  • Disrupting voting lines or blocking the entrance to the polling place.
    following voters to, from, or within the polling place.
  • Spreading false information about voter fraud, voting requirements, or related criminal penalties.
  • Aggressively approaching voters’ vehicles or writing down voters’ license plate numbers.
  • Harassing voters, including aggressively questioning them about their qualifications to vote.

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If you see or experience voter intimidation, you should notify the poll workers at the affected polling place; document what happened and whether any voters were deterred from voting; and call Election Protection hotlines listed below.

What if I have further questions or experience any problems while trying to vote?

You may call the Election Protection hotlines:

  • 866-OUR-VOTE (English)
  • 888-VE-Y-VOTA (Spanish/ English)
  • 888-API-VOTE (Asian languages/ English)
  • 844-YALLA-US (Arabic/ English)

For further information on voting, visit Y’all Vote.

Tell Us Your Voting Story

We want to hear what you experienced with registering, verifying or changing your information, absentee ballots, voting, or any other situation you’ve encountered while trying to participate in your local, state, or federal elections. Share your story:

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Illustrations by Elias Stein