November 30, 2020

Absentee ballot requests in Mississippi surpass 2016 level

Requests for absentee ballots have surpassed 2016 levels in Mississippi with two weeks left before Election Day.

The Clarion-Ledger reported Wednesday that the Statewide Election Management System reported that more than 120,200 absentee ballots had been requested as of Sunday compared to fewer than 111,000 four years ago. Almost 116,000 had been sent, also above the total for 2016.

Secretary of State Michael Watson said Monday about 89,500 completed ballots had been received at election offices. That compares to 103,000 ballots that were received in all four years ago.

The deadline for in-person absentee voting is Oct. 31, and mailed absentee ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received within five business days to be counted.

Mississippi is expanding access to curbside voting for people with symptoms of COVID-19 and setting a new process to let voters correct minor discrepancies with signatures on absentee ballots. The changes are being made after voting-rights groups sued the state in federal court.