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Mississippi

0 /65
Vote at Home Score

2020 General Election

Turnout rate (VEP)

0 %

Votes cast from mailed-out ballots

0 %

2016 General Election

Turnout rate (VEP)

0 %

Votes cast from mailed out ballots

0 %

State election policies as of 2022...

Full Vote-at-Home

0/10

Full Vote-at-Home

Voter automatically mailed ballot for every election

No Excuse Required

1/6

No Excuse Required

No excuse to vote from home

Single Sign-Up

1/6

Single Sign-Up

Voter signs up once to receive mail ballot for all future elections

Local Vote-at-Home Option

0/5

Local VAH Option

Local governments have discretion to conduct full vote-at-home elections

Online Mail Ballot Sign-Up

0/2

Online Mail Ballot Sign-Up

Voter can apply for mail ballot online

Ballot Tracking

0/4

Ballot Tracking

Voter can receive ballot status notifications.

In-Person Ballot Return

0/5

In-Person Ballot Return

Voter has multiple options to return mail ballot in person

Signature Verification

4/5

Signature Verification

Voter signature verified before ballot is counted

Ballot Cure Process

0/4

Ballot Cure Process

Voter can correct issues so ballot can be counted

Prepaid Postage

0/4

Prepaid Postage

Postage-paid return envelopes provided

Election Day Postmark Acceptance

2/4

Election Day Postmark Acceptance

Ballots postmarked by Election Day are accepted

In-Person Voting

0/4

In-Person Return

Physical locations for voters to vote and receive assistance

Pre-Processing

0/3

Signature Verification

Ballots are verified and scanned before Election Day

Mail Ballot Applications

2/2

Mail Ballot Applications

Election officials can mail ballot applications to all voters eligible to vote from home

Ballot Return Assistance

0/2

Ballot Return Assistance

Voters may receive assistance to return their mail ballot

Last Updated

Opportunities

By passing legislation to allow voters to vote by mail ballot without needing an excuse, Mississippi can give their citizens the opportunity to vote in whichever manner they find safest and most convenient. Additionally, an increase in mail ballots often means a decrease in both lines and costs.
Ballot tracking software can be a very cost effective tool that increases voter confidence by allowing voters to track their ballot much like an Amazon package. It also adds a layer of data for the elections office who can also track the ballots to make sure they have reached their destination. Furthermore, these tools can be used as another modality to contact voters if there is a signature mismatch or deficiency on their return envelope. An expanded notification system helps keep rejection rates low and increases voter confidence and participation.
Creating an online portal for voters to register to vote and request an absentee ballot is not only convenient; if it feeds directly into the voter registration system, it can be an important step to help verify addresses, collect contact information and to remove administrative steps to process a large amount of applications. We encourage an integrated process that allows new voters to register, current voters to make changes to their address and make requests for ballots in a seamless manner.
Mississippi can reduce costs and increase voter convenience by expanding its permanent absentee option, where voters can sign up to automatically be sent an absentee ballot for each election without having to re-apply, to all residents. While this is likely a longer-term goal for the state, it should keep in mind that states experience significant savings by cutting down on the requests they need to process; on average, states save $1 for every request they no longer need to process.
Simplifying the return process for a ballot is just as important as simplifying the request process. Ensuring that voters do not need to make an extra trip to the post office is not only a voter-centric reform, but also a safety reform.
Offering secure drop boxes as another method for voters to return ballots are a cost-effective way to reduce strain on the postal system, and are sometimes a preferred method by voters who want an extra bit of reassurance that their ballot makes it to the elections office on time. We highly recommend including provisions to allow for ballots to be received at polling and vote centers, as well as other locations deemed necessary by the clerk.
Processing mail ballots to get them ready for counting before election day will help Mississippi get faster election results. Preliminary data also suggests that preprocessing helps avoid any blue or red shifts when there are differences in the partisan lean of mail vs. in person ballots, which could increase voter confidence in the results of elections.
We highly recommend creating vote centers, or polling locations where any voter in the county can vote. This is a way to streamline the system so over time, as the share of the vote cast by mail increases, counties can have fewer overall polling locations, while individual voters will have more voting location options.
We all know that it is important to make sure that the ballots received are being filled out by the individuals they were sent to, and Mississippi’s existing signature verification procedures already do just that. From an election security standpoint, witness requirements are far less secure than signature verification anyway. We recommend the state require only a signature, not a witness.

Recent Legislation

As of May 20, 2021

In 2020, Mississippi was the only state in the union to not offer either voting by mail without an excuse or any form of early voting. However, some progress was made: accepting ballots with election day postmarks was added as a new, permanent policy in 2020. Additionally, state officials decided to add a ballot cure process in 2020 to allow voters to correct errors they made on their ballots (such as if their signature does not match the one on file), but the bill to codify this failed in committee in 2021. No election-related bills passed in 2021.