HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a release from the MS Secretary of State's Office.
By statute, the following categories of registered voters are eligible to cast absentee ballots in Mississippi:
- Members of the United States Armed Forces or their spouses and/or dependents;
- Members of the Merchant Marines or the American Red Cross, or their spouses and/or dependents;
- Disabled war veterans who are patients in any hospital, or their spouses and/or dependents;
- Civilians attached to any branch of the Armed Forces, the Merchant Marines, or the American Red Cross and serving outside the United States, or their spouses and/or dependents;
- Any trained or certified emergency response provider who is deployed on Election Day during any state of emergency declared by the President of the United States or any Governor of any U.S. State;
- Persons temporarily residing outside the territorial limits of the United States and the District of Columbia;
- Students, teachers, or administrators whose employment or studies necessitate their absence from their county of voting residence, or their dependent or spouse who maintains a common domicile outside the county of voting residence;
- Persons who will be outside their county of residence on Election Day;
- Persons required to be at work on Election Day during the times at which the polls will be open;
- Persons temporarily or permanently physically disabled;
- Persons sixty-five (65) years of age or older;
- Parents, spouses, or dependents of persons having a temporary or permanent physical disability who are hospitalized outside their county of residence or more than fifty (50) miles away from their residence if the parents, spouses, and/or dependents will be with such persons on election day; and
- Members of the Mississippi Congressional delegation, or their spouses and/or dependents.
A voter must apply for an absentee ballot, and absentee ballots must be returned (1) in-person at a Circuit Clerk's Office by 12 p.m. on the Saturday preceding Election Day, or (2) by mail by 5 p.m. the day before Election Day (this is a receipt date, not a postmark date).
A voter votes by affidavit on Election Day (not before) if (1) the voter's name is not in the pollbook; (2) the voter is unable present acceptable photo identification; (3) the picture on the presented photo identification does not fairly depict the voter; or (4) the name on the presented photo identification is not substantially similar to the voter's name as it appears on the pollbook.
If a voter does not have acceptable photo identification on Election Day and he or she casts an affidavit ballot, the voter must present acceptable photo identification to the Circuit Clerk or obtain a free Mississippi Voter ID card within five business days after the election. This year, that date falls on November 16, 2016, which accounts for Veterans Day.