Submitted by Michael Watson
Secretary of State Watson cleans up misleading information in recent Clarion Ledger article on voting in Mississippi.
Well-intentioned as it may be, a recent Clarion Ledger article on voting in Mississippi provided misleading information about the various avenues you can take to vote. If you can’t vote in person on the day, you may not be able to vote.” It further outlines that Mississippi does not have early voting or online voter registration, and votes in person on Election Day as the only opportunity to vote other than designating several categories of eligible voters to vote by mail. I kept suggesting that
I do not take my responsibilities lightly as Mississippi’s Chief Election Officer. So I want to take a moment to lay out the facts and remind Mississippians that they should get their election information from reliable sources, such as the circuit clerk, election commissioner, and Mississippi Secretary of State. increase. office.
First, the article didn’t mention all the ways people who can’t get to their precinct on Election Day can vote. Mississippi law allows for only four reasons to vote by mail, but there are eight reasons for in-person absentee ballots. Be aware that misleading information of this kind will confuse voters and create unnecessary obstacles for voters in Mississippi, whether or not the author intentionally abandoned other avenues of absentee voting. is important.
Click here to view the full list of absentee voters.
Additionally, while the article referred to “hard laws like voter ID,” in reality, Mississippi’s voter identification laws require several types of ID, including broader categories such as government-issued photo IDs. (10 to be precise) IDs are allowed to be presented on Election Day. If voters do not have a valid form of ID, they can also access free voter ID cards through the Office of the Secretary of State. As of today, our office has issued 8,835 cards.
Click here for all acceptable forms of voter identification.
We know there is more work to be done with our state’s election laws. My team and I are working with the legislature to find ways to make it easier for all Mississippians to vote. We are continuously reviewing it. But remember that we must balance these efforts with maintaining the integrity of the election process. Our goal is to make voting easier and cheating harder. As always, we’re happy to sit down at the table to have these tough, nuanced discussions.
Finally, I urge all Mississippians once again to stay out of biased media, whether intentional or not, and to seek credible information from state and local officials. For election information, visit YallVote.ms, call the election hotline at 1-800-829-6786, or email us. [email protected].
Submitted by Michael Watson. He is the Secretary of State for Mississippi.