Analysis: 315 absentee ballots were rejected in Mississippi’s March presidential primary

Analysis: 315 absentee ballots were rejected in Mississippi’s March presidential primary
FILE - In this Aug. 5, 2020, file photo vote-by-mail ballots are shown in U.S. Postal service sorting trays the King County Elections headquarters in Renton, Wash., south of Seattle. The U.S. Postal Service has sent letters to 46 states and the District of Columbia, warning it cannot guarantee all ballots cast by mail for the November election will arrive in time to be counted, The Washington Post reported Friday, Aug. 14. (Source: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File/AP)

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - According to an NPR analysis, 315 absentee ballots were rejected in Mississippi’s March presidential primary.

Mississippi’s 315 rejected ballots is the smallest amount of rejected ballots on the list of 30 states that were analyzed. The number of rejected ballots in the other 20 states was unavailable.

Across the US, more than 550,000 absentee ballots were rejected in this year’s presidential primaries - more than 200,000 more than 2016′s general election where 318,000 ballots were rejected.

As pointed out by NPR, these rejected ballots can have a major impact on a hotly contested election. In 2016, Hillary Clinton lost Wisconsin by a mere 23,000 votes. In NPR’s recent analysis, it shows that 23,196 absentee ballots were ejected in the state’s April presidential primary.

And in Pennsylvania, 37,119 absentee ballots were rejected in their June primary. In 2016, President Trump won the state by 44,000 votes.

The state with the most rejected ballots was California with a whopping 102,428. The next state with the highest amount of rejected ballots was Washington with 95,261.

An absentee ballot can be rejected for a plethora of reasons, from a missing signature to an unverified signature to the ballot arriving late.

According to The Washington Post, In “Missouri, Mississippi and Texas, absentee ballots still are reserved only for those who can cite an approved reason.” This includes being away on Election Day, serving jury duty or being disabled.

And Mississippi, along with Missouri and Oklahoma, requires that the envelope be signed by a public notary. But, due to the pandemic, Mississippi state legislatures have added having COVID-19 or being under quarantine for COVID-19 as an acceptable reason to request an absentee ballot.

Mississippi voters can request an absentee ballot starting Sept. 21 with the deadline to vote absentee in-house being Oct. 31. For more information on how to vote absentee in Mississippi, click HERE.

Copyright 2020 WLBT. All rights reserved.