Elections

Pro tip: Go to the polls but lay off the selfies for a few minutes

Bill Phillips, of Nashua, N.H., takes a selfie with his marked election ballot. Taking a photo of a marked ballot is illegal in Mississippi.
Bill Phillips, of Nashua, N.H., takes a selfie with his marked election ballot. Taking a photo of a marked ballot is illegal in Mississippi. AP File

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann urges Mississippians to get out and vote Tuesday in their municipal elections but warns them not to take a selfie with their ballot.

Mississippi is one of at least 17 states that have outlawed taking photos of marked ballots. But that doesn’t mean Hosemann doesn’t want you to mark one.

“This is where the rubber meets the road. If you are concerned about policy-making and decisions directly impacting your daily life, including your roads, garbage pick-up, or street lights, I urge you to cast a ballot in your precinct tomorrow,” Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said.

Voters will chose party nominees for mayors, city council members and aldermen. A runoff, if necessary, will be May 16 and the general election will be June 6.

Hosemann says his office will have 15 observers in 24 municipalities across the state. Problems at the polls observed by his staff or reported to Elections Division — the election fraud hotline is 1-800-829-6786 — will be referred to the proper municipal election officials or authorities. The secretary of state’s staff has no enforcement authority to resolve problems, a release from Hosemann’s office said.

The release also contained these reminders:

Polling Place Location: A polling place locator is available on the secretary of state’s website at www.sos.ms.gov/PollingPlace/Pages/default.aspx.

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 Municipal Clerk’s Office within five business days (5 p.m. May 9) after the election. For more information, visit www.msvoterID.ms.gov.

Campaigning: It is unlawful to campaign for any candidate 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.

Paul Hampton: 228-284-7296, @JPaulHampton

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