22 Sep Mississippi Voter Information
Election Day is Tuesday, November 3. Here are some helpful resources.
What is HCR47:
A day after the Mississippi legislature’s historic vote to take down the Confederate emblem as part of Mississippi’s state flag that was adopted in 1894, the Mississippi legislature took another step in dismantling the legacy of the post-Reconstruction era by proposing a constitutional amendment to repeal the 1890 constitutional provisions allowing the Mississippi House of Representatives, under certain circumstances, to choose the winning candidate for statewide offices. As a result of that action, the proposed repeal is being submitted to voters in November.
The legislature’s vote was prompted by a lawsuit challenging the provisions as part of a larger plan stemming from Mississippi’s notorious 1890 Constitution Convention to entrench white supremacy, take the vote away from Black citizens, and prevent Black people from ever being elected to statewide office. The lawsuit, McLemore v. Hosemann, was filed by seven Black Mississippi voters who are represented by the Perkins Coie law firm and the Mississippi Center for Justice.
Among the Jim Crow provisions in Mississippi’s 1890 Constitution is this “two-tiered” election requirement for candidates for statewide office which requires candidates to win both the popular vote and a majority (with a plurality) of the vote in the state’s House of Representatives districts. Under current law, when a candidate does not win both the popular vote and a majority of House districts, the outcome of a race is determined by the Mississippi House of Representatives where legislators are not held to their district’s vote. The intention of the drafters of this provision was to protect white political power in the state and disenfranchise Black voters.
Jim Crow is on the ballot. By voting “yes,” voters have a chance to overturn a racist 1890 election law that has no place in 2020 Mississippi.
Who Can Vote Absentee Due to COVID-19:
Mississippi voters may vote absentee if they have a medical condition that qualifies as a “physical disability” and puts them at a greater risk of severe consequences if they contract COVID-19.
They also may vote absentee if they are under a directive from their physician to quarantine.
Voters who have no medical conditions may not vote absentee if they are simply following public health guidance to avoid community events.
For people who are required to vote on Election Day, they should try to vote during hours when fewer people are at the polls, which means avoiding early morning hours, lunchtime, and late afternoon and evening. Of course, many people have to work and can only vote during the busier hours. Hopefully the Legislature will provide some mechanism to lighten the risk for voters and lighten the load for elections officials that we will otherwise see on Election Day.
Voting Tools and Resources:
- 2020 General Election Mississippi Sample Ballot
- Sample Ballots for all Hinds County Precincts
- Register to Vote
- Apply to Vote Absentee
- Apply to Vote By Mail
- Verify Your Registration
- Polling Place Locator
- Election Reminders
- Local Election Office Directory
Resources for Voting While Incarcerated
- This Guide (16 pages double-sided) contains instructions for how to navigate Mississippi’s registration and absentee voting process from prison.
- This Forms-Only Packet (3 pages double-sided) contains all of the documents necessary to register to vote and request an absentee ballot application.