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Mississippi on track to top 2016 voter turnout this Election Day

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Calls to the secretary of state’s Election Hotline (601-576-2550) have been steady, with most calls relating to polling place changes, voter registration and masks at polling places, the Mississippi secretary of state’s office said in a release Monday. As a reminder, in Mississippi, no voter should be denied the right to vote for not wearing a face mask.

In 2016, Mississippians cast 1,209,357 legal votes for the presidential election. Based on absentee reports and voter turnout at the polls, the secretary of state’s office expects Mississippi to surpass that total.

As of Sunday, Nov. 1, the Statewide Election Management System reported Mississippians had requested 248,335 absentee ballots and clerks had sent 247,650 ballots. A total of 231,031 absentee ballots had been received for the 2020 General Election, more than double those of 2016.

In the last presidential election, Mississippians requested 110,812 ballots. Circuit clerks sent out 110,810 ballots and received 102,915. Of those, 101,339 were accepted.

“We are well aware of the lines many Mississippi voters are experiencing as they are going to cast their ballots,” said Secretary of State Michael Watson in a statement. “Please keep in mind our poll managers are doing a great job managing an incredibly high turnout in the midst of COVID-19 safety precautions, including social distancing and limited numbers of voters allowed in some of our precincts. Be sure to thank them for their service!”

If you experience or witness a problem at the polls, please contact the appropriate district attorney’s office or the attorney general’s office at 601-359-3279, as the Secretary of State’s Office has no enforcement authority to resolve problems. Our office will continue to field all calls and send updates on the 2020 General Election throughout the day.

 Election Day Reminders

  • Polls are open until 7 p.m. Any voter in line at 7 p.m. is entitled to cast a ballot.
  • Mail-In Absentee Voting Deadline: All mail-in absentee ballots must be postmarked by Election Day (Nov. 3) and received within five business days of Election Day in order to count.
  • Polling Place Location: Please contact your county circuit clerk’s office or local election commissioners for updates regarding your polling place. Several counties have changed polling places since the 2020 primary election.
  • Voter Photo ID: Voters are required to show photo identification at the polls. A voter without an acceptable form of photo identification is entitled to cast an affidavit ballot. An affidavit ballot may be counted if the voter provides an acceptable form of photo identification to the circuit clerk’s office within five business days after the election. Click here for more information.
  • Campaigning: It is unlawful to campaign for any candidate or ballot measure within 150 feet of any entrance to a polling place, unless on private property.
  • Loitering: The polling places should be clear for 30 feet from every entrance of all people except elections officials, voters waiting to vote, or authorized poll watchers.
  • Camera Phones: Voters are prohibited from taking pictures of their marked ballot.
  • COVID-19: Our office supplied every county with COVID-19 safety supplies and personal protective equipment for poll managers. County officials have been instructed to sanitize and disinfect high-touch areas at each precinct. Voters are encouraged to practice good hygiene and follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines at the polls.

For more information about state election laws or Election Day information, visit Y’all Vote or call the Elections Division Hotline at 601-576-2550.

 

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Vicksburg Daily News