Elections

Answers to frequent questions about Tuesday's general election

South Mississippi residents head to the polls Tuesday for the general election. Here are answers to questions about the elections:

What's at stake?

All statewide offices, the entire state Legislature and all county offices.

Who can vote?

Any registered voter may vote.

Do you need your voter registration card to vote?

No. If you are a registered voter, your name should appear on the voter rolls at the precinct where you vote.

What forms of photo ID are required?

ALL voters will have to present one of the follow forms of acceptable photo identification in order to vote:

n Driver's license

n Photo ID issued by a branch, department or entity of the state of Mississippi

n United States passport

n Government employee ID card

n Firearms license

n Student photo ID issued by an accredited Mississippi university, college or community/junior college

n United States military ID

n Tribal photo ID

n Any other photo ID issued by any branch, department, agency or entity of the United States government or any state government

n A Mississippi voter identification card

May a voter use an expired photo ID?

Yes, as long as it is an acceptable form of photo ID (see list above) and is not more than 10 years old. The expired ID must contain the name and photograph of the voter, and have been validly issued by the federal or a state government.

What if the voter does not have any of the acceptable forms of photo ID?

Free Mississippi Voter ID cards are available at any circuit clerk's office.

What happens if a voter does not have a photo ID?

A voter who does not have a photo ID on Election Day will be asked to vote by affidavit ballot at the polling place. The voter will then have five business days to show an acceptable form of photo ID, or apply for a Mississippi voter ID card, at the circuit clerk's office.

What is an affidavit ballot and how is it used?

This is a paper ballot that allows you to vote on election day if your name is not on the poll books or you do not have an acceptable form of photo identification. Any person declaring they are a registered voter in the jurisdiction in which they offer to vote may vote by affidavit. A poll worker will give you the paper ballot. Voting by affidavit ballot allows election officials to verify the vote was legal. A verified affidavit ballot counts the same as a regular vote.

How do I know where to vote?

Check your voter registration card for the location where you vote, which is called a voting precinct, or check the precinct list on this page in today's Sun Herald.

What time are the polls open?

7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

If I have moved within my city or county and have not changed my voter registration information, where do I vote?

You should go to the precinct where you would vote if you had changed your voter information. If you are unsure where that is, check with your local circuit clerk. Once at the precinct, you can use an affidavit ballot to vote.

Can candidates campaign near the polls?

Yes, as long as they don't go too close to the precinct entrance. It is against Mississippi law for candidates or their representatives to post or distribute cards, posters or other campaign literature within 150 feet of any building where an election is being held.

Can a voter wear a shirt with a candidate's name or picture to the polls?

No. The Secretary of State's Office says wearing a shirt with a candidate's name or picture is prohibited within 150 feet of the precinct entrance. Those kinds of shirts must be removed or covered before a voter can take part in the election.

Can a voter bring a sample ballot with them to the polls?

Yes, as long as a voter plans to use it to remind them of whom they plan to support. It is illegal for sample ballots to be used as campaign literature that could influence other voters.

Can a voter receive assistance while voting?

Yes. Any voter who is blind, physically disabled or can't read or write may receive assistance. No other reasons are valid. In order to receive assistance, the voter must tell poll mangers he or she needs help. The voter can have anyone help mark the ballot, except their employer, their employer's representative, or any representative of a union of which the voter is a member.

Can a candidate designate someone to be a poll watcher at a precinct?

Yes. The candidate must give that person a letter authorizing him/her to be a poll watcher. That person must present it to the poll manager at the precinct, who will designate an area where he or she may sit. They may view what is going on at the precinct and may view the poll book and sign-in book as long as it does not interfere with the election.

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