Mississippi eBenchBook

CHAPTER 15 – MISSISSIPPI ELECTION CODE

 

ARTICLE 1. IN GENERAL

§ 23-15-1. Short title.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Mississippi Election Code.”

§ 23-15-3. Definition of “ballot box.”

For purposes of this chapter, the term “ballot box” includes any ballot bag or other container of a type that has been approved for use in elections by the Secretary of State and is capable of receiving voted paper ballots. Such ballot bags or containers may be used for any purpose that a ballot box may be used under the provisions of law regulating elections in Mississippi or any other purpose authorized by the rules and regulations adopted by the Secretary of State.

§ 23-15-5. Elections Support Fund created; use of funds; deposit of portion of monies into State General Fund.

(1) There is created in the State Treasury a special fund to be known as the Elections Support Fund. Monies derived from annual report fees imposed upon limited liability companies under Section 79-29-1203 shall be deposited into the Elections Support Fund. Unexpended amounts remaining in the fund at the end of the fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any interest earned or investment earnings on amounts in the fund shall be disbursed as provided in subsection (2) of this section. The expenditure of monies in the fund shall be under the direction of the Secretary of State as provided by subsection (2) of this section, and such funds shall be paid by the State Treasurer upon warrants issued by the Department of Finance and Administration.
(2)

(a) Monies in the fund shall be used as follows:

(i) Fifty percent (50%) of the monies in the special fund shall be distributed annually to the counties, upon appropriation of the Legislature, based on the proportion that the population of a county bears to the total population in all counties of the state population according to the most recent information from the United States Census Bureau, and held in a separate fund solely for the purpose of acquiring, upgrading, maintaining or repairing voting equipment, systems and supplies, hiring temporary technical support, conducting elections using such voting equipment or systems, employing such personnel to conduct an election, and training election officials; and
(ii) The remaining fifty percent (50%) of the monies in the special fund shall be deposited in the State General Fund.

(b) The Secretary of State shall create standard training guidelines to assist counties in training election officials with the funds authorized under subsection (2)(a)(ii) of this section. Any criteria established by the Secretary of State for the purposes of this section shall be used in addition to any other training or coursework prescribed by the Secretary of State to train circuit clerks, poll managers and any other election officials participating in county elections.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no monies from the Elections Support Fund shall be used by the Secretary of State or any person associated with the Office of the Secretary of State to provide or otherwise support expert testimony in any manner for any hearing, trial or election contest.

(3) From and after July 1, 2017, none of the monies deposited in the Elections Support Fund may be used to reimburse or otherwise defray any costs that the Office of the Secretary of State may incur in administering the fund.
(4) From and after July 1, 2016, no state agency shall charge another state agency a fee, assessment, rent or other charge for services or resources received by authority of this section.

§ 23-15-7. Mississippi Voter Identification Card.

(1) The Secretary of State shall negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding which shall be entered into by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety and the registrar of each county for the purpose of providing a Mississippi Voter Identification Card. The card shall be valid for the purpose of voter identification purposes under Section 23-15-563 and available only to registered voters of this state. No fee shall be charged or collected for the application for or issuance of a Mississippi Voter Identification Card. Any costs associated with the application for or issuance of a Mississippi Voter Identification Card shall be made payable from the state’s General Fund.
(2) The registrar of each county shall provide a location in the registrar’s office at which he or she shall accept applications for Mississippi Voter Identification Cards in accordance with the Mississippi Constitution; however, in counties having two (2) judicial districts the registrar shall provide a location in the registrar’s office in each judicial district at which he or she shall accept applications for Mississippi Voter Identification Cards in accordance with the Mississippi Constitution.
(3) No person shall be eligible for a Mississippi Voter Identification Card if the person has a valid unexpired Mississippi driver’s license or an identification card issued under Section 45-35-1 et seq.

(4)

(a) The Mississippi Voter Identification Card shall be captioned “MISSISSIPPI VOTER IDENTIFICATION CARD” and shall contain a prominent statement that under Mississippi law it is valid only as identification for voting purposes. The identification card shall include the following information regarding the applicant:

(i) Full legal name;
(ii) Legal residence address;
(iii) Mailing address, if different; and
(iv) Voting information.

(b) The Mississippi Voter Identification Card shall also contain the date the voter identification card was issued, the county in which the voter is registered and such other information as required by the Secretary of State.

(5) The application shall be signed and sworn to by the applicant and any falsification or fraud in the making of the application shall constitute false swearing under Section 97-7-35.
(6) The registrar shall require presentation and verification of any of the following information during the application process before issuance of a Mississippi Voter Identification Card:

(a) A photo identity document; or
(b) Documentation showing the person’s date and place of birth; or
(c) A social security card; or
(d) A Medicare card; or
(e) A Medicaid card; or
(f) Such other acceptable evidence of verification of residence in the county as determined by the Secretary of State.

(7) A Mississippi Voter Identification Card shall remain valid for as long as the cardholder remains qualified to vote. It shall be the duty of a person who moves his or her residence within this state to surrender his or her voter identification card to the registrar of the county of his or her new residence and that person may thereafter apply for and receive a new card if such person is eligible under this section. It shall be the duty of a person who moves his or her residence outside this state or who ceases to be qualified to vote to surrender his or her card to the registrar who issued it.
(8) The Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, shall adopt rules and regulations for the administration of this section.

 

ARTICLE 3. VOTER REGISTRATION

SUBARTICLE A. QUALIFICATION OF ELECTORS

§ 23-15-11. Qualifications, generally.

Every inhabitant of this state, except persons adjudicated to be non compos mentis, who is a citizen of the United States of America, eighteen (18) years old and upwards, who has resided in this state for thirty (30) days and for thirty (30) days in the county in which he or she seeks to vote, and for thirty (30) days in the incorporated municipality in which he or she seeks to vote, and who has been duly registered as an elector under Section 23-15-33, and who has never been convicted of vote fraud or of any crime listed in Section 241, Mississippi Constitution of 1890, shall be a qualified elector in and for the county, municipality and voting precinct of his or her residence, and shall be entitled to vote at any election upon compliance with Section 23-15-563. If the thirtieth day to register before an election falls on a Sunday or legal holiday, the registration applications submitted on the business day immediately following the Sunday or legal holiday shall be accepted and entered in the Statewide Elections Management System for the purpose of enabling voters to vote in the next election. Any person who will be eighteen (18) years of age or older on or before the date of the general election and who is duly registered to vote not less than thirty (30) days before the primary election associated with the general election, may vote in the primary election even though the person has not reached his or her eighteenth birthday at the time that the person seeks to vote at the primary election. No others than those specified in this section shall be entitled, or shall be allowed, to vote at any election.

§ 23-15-13. Change of residency to new ward or voting precinct within same municipality.

(1) An elector who moves from one (1) ward or voting precinct to another ward within the same municipality or voting precinct within the same county shall not be disqualified to vote, but he or she shall be entitled to have his or her registration transferred to his or her new ward or voting precinct upon making written request therefor at any time up to thirty (30) days before the election at which he or she offers to vote, and if the removal occurs within thirty (30) days of such election he or she shall be entitled to vote in his or her new ward or voting precinct by affidavit ballot as provided in Section 23-15-573. If the thirtieth day to transfer the elector’s registration before an election falls on a Sunday or legal holiday, the transfer of the elector’s registration submitted on the business day immediately following the Sunday or legal holiday shall be accepted and entered into the Statewide Elections Management System for the purpose of enabling voters to vote in the next election.

(2) If an elector requests a change in his or her address under Section 23-15-49 and the address is located in a precinct in the county or municipality that differs from the precinct as reflected in the then current registration records, the request shall be treated in the same manner as a written request to transfer the elector’s registration under subsection (1) of this section.

§ 23-15-14. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2004, ch. 305, § 17, eff from and after July 12, 2004, the date said ch.
305 was effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

§ 23-15-15. Documentation required of naturalized citizens.

It shall be the duty of any person who has acquired citizenship by order or decree of naturalization and who is otherwise qualified to register and vote under the laws of the State of Mississippi to present or exhibit to the registrar of the county of his or her residence, at or before the time he or she may offer to register, a certified copy of the final order or decree of naturalization, or a certificate of naturalization or duplicate thereof, or a certified copy of such certificate of naturalization or duplicate; otherwise he or she shall not be allowed to register or to vote.

§ 23-15-17. Reporting and investigation of false registration.

Any person who has reasonable cause to suspect that a false registration as provided in Section 97-13-25 has occurred may notify any authorized law enforcement officer with proper jurisdiction. Upon such notification, law enforcement officer shall be required to conduct an investigation into the matter and file a report with the registrar and the appropriate district attorney. The registrar shall, within twenty-four (24) hours of receipt of the investigating officer’s report, accept or reject the registration. Any person who so notifies an authorized law enforcement officer shall be presumed to be acting in good faith and shall be immune from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed.

§ 23-15-19. Persons convicted of certain crimes not to be registered.

Any person who has been convicted of vote fraud or any crime listed in Section 241, Mississippi Constitution of 1890, such crimes defined as “disenfranchising,” shall not be registered, or if registered the name of the person shall be removed from the Statewide Elections Management System by the registrar or the election commissioners of the county of his or her residence. Whenever any person shall be convicted in the circuit court of his or her county of a disenfranchising crime, the county registrar shall thereupon remove his or her name from the Statewide Elections Management System; and whenever any person shall be convicted of a disenfranchising crime in any other court of any county, the presiding judge of the court shall, on demand, certify the fact in writing to the registrar of the county in which the voter resides, who shall thereupon remove the name of the person from the Statewide Elections Management System and retain the certificate as a record of his or her office.

§ 23-15-21. Non-citizen not to register or vote.

It shall be unlawful for any person who is not a citizen of the United States or the State of Mississippi to register or to vote in any primary, special or general election in the state.

SUBARTICLE B. PROCEDURES FOR REGISTRATION

§ 23-15-31. Elections to which subarticle applicable; duty, power and authority of certain election officials.

All of the provisions of this subarticle shall be applicable, insofar as possible, to municipal, primary, general and special elections; and wherever therein any duty is imposed or any power or authority is conferred upon the county registrar, county election commissioners or county executive committee with reference to a state and county election, such duty shall likewise be conferred upon the municipal registrar, municipal election commission or municipal executive committee with reference to any municipal election.

§ 23-15-33. Registrar to register voters.

(1) Every person entitled to be registered as an elector in compliance with the laws of this state and who has signed his or her name on and properly completed the application for registration to vote shall be registered by the county registrar in the voting precinct of the residence of such person through the Statewide Elections Management System.
(2) Every person entitled to be registered as an elector in compliance with the laws of this state and who registers to vote pursuant to the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 shall be registered by the county registrar in the voting precinct of the residence of such person through the Statewide Elections Management System.

 

§ 23-15-35. Clerk of municipality to be registrar; registration books; form of application for registration; registration of county electors by clerk.

(1) The clerk of the municipality shall be the registrar of voters of the municipality, and shall take the oath of office prescribed by Section 268 of the Constitution. The municipal registration shall conform to the county registration which shall be a part of the official record of registered voters as contained in the Statewide Elections Management System. The municipal clerk shall comply with all the provisions of law regarding the registration of voters, including the use of the voter registration applications used by county registrars and prescribed by the Secretary of State under Sections 23-15-39 and 23-15-47.

(2) The municipal clerk shall be authorized to register applicants as county electors. The municipal clerk shall forward notice of registration, a copy of the application for registration, and any changes to the registration when they occur, either by certified mail to the county registrar or by personal delivery to the county registrar provided that a numbered receipt is signed by the county registrar in return for the described documents. Upon receipt of the copy of the application for registration or changes to the registration, and if a review of the application indicates that the applicant meets all the criteria necessary to qualify as a county elector, then the county registrar shall make a determination of the county voting precinct in which the person making the application shall be required to vote. The county registrar shall send this county voting precinct information by United States first-class mail, postage prepaid, to the person at the address provided on the application. Any mailing costs incurred by the municipal clerk or the county registrar in effectuating this subsection (2) shall be paid by the county board of supervisors. If a review of the copy of the application for registration or changes to the registration indicates that the applicant is not qualified to vote in the county, the county registrar shall challenge the application. The county election commissioners shall review any challenge or disqualification, after having notified the applicant by certified mail of the challenge or disqualification.
(3) The municipal clerk shall issue to the person making the application a copy of the application and the county registrar shall process the application in accordance with the law regarding the handling of voter registration applications.
(4) The receipt of a copy of the application for registration sent pursuant to Section 23-15-39(3) shall be sufficient to allow the applicant to be registered as an elector in the municipality, provided that such application is not challenged as provided for therein.
(5) The municipal clerk of each municipality shall provide the county registrar in which the municipality is located the information necessary to conform the municipal registration to the county registration which shall be a part of the official record of registered voters as contained in the Statewide Elections Management System. If any changes to the information occur as a result of redistricting, annexation or other reason, it shall be the responsibility of the municipal clerk to timely provide the changes to the county registrar.

§ 23-15-37. Keeping registration books; registration of voters; voter registration in public schools.

(1) The registrar shall register the electors of his or her county at any time during regular office hours.
(2) The county registrar may keep his or her office open to register voters from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., including the noon hour, for the five (5) business days immediately preceding the thirtieth day before any regularly scheduled primary or general election. The county registrar shall also keep his or her office open from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon on the Saturday immediately preceding the thirtieth day before any regularly scheduled primary or general election, unless that Saturday falls on a legal holiday, in which case registration applications submitted on the Monday immediately following the legal holiday shall be accepted and entered in the Statewide Elections Management System for the purpose of enabling such voters to vote in the next primary or general election.
(3) The registrar, or any deputy registrar duly appointed by law, may visit and spend such time as he or she may deem necessary at any location in his or her county, selected by the registrar not less than thirty (30) days before an election, for the purpose of registering voters.
(4) A person who is physically disabled and unable to visit the office of the registrar to register to vote due to such disability may contact the registrar and request that the registrar or the registrar’s deputy visit him or her for the purpose of registering such person to vote. The registrar or the registrar’s deputy shall visit that person as soon as possible after such request and provide the person with an application for registration, if necessary. The completed application for registration shall be executed in the presence of the registrar or the registrar’s deputy.
(5)

(a) In the fall and spring of each year the registrar of each county shall furnish all public schools with mail-in voter registration applications. The applications shall be provided in a reasonable time to enable those students who will be eighteen (18) years of age before a general election to be able to vote in the primary and general elections.
(b) Each public school district shall permit access to all public schools of this state for the county registrar or the county registrar’s deputy to register persons who are eligible to vote and to provide voter education.

§ 23-15-39. Form of application for registration; allowances for office supplies; determination on application; notice to applicant; assistance to applicant; voter registration number; fees and costs; forwarding of application.

(1) Applications for registration as electors of this state, which are sworn to and subscribed before the registrar or deputy registrar authorized by law and which are not made by mail, shall be made upon a form established by rule duly adopted by the Secretary of State.
(2) The boards of supervisors shall make proper allowances for office supplies reasonably necessitated by the registration of county electors.
(3) If the applicant indicates on the application that he or she resides within the city limits of a city or town in the county of registration, the county registrar shall process the application for registration or changes to the registration as provided by law.
(4) If the applicant indicates on the application that he or she has previously registered to vote in another county of this state or another state, notice to the voter’s previous county of registration in this state shall be provided by the Statewide Elections Management System. If the voter’s previous place of registration was in another state, notice shall be provided to the voter’s previous state of residence if the Statewide Elections Management System has that capability.
(5) The county registrar shall provide to the person making the application a copy of the application upon which has been written the county voting precinct and municipal voting precinct, if any, in which the person shall vote. Upon entry of the voter registration information into the Statewide Elections Management System, the system shall assign a voter registration number to the person, and the county registrar shall mail the applicant a voter registration card to the mailing address provided on the application.
(6) Any person desiring an application for registration may secure an application from the registrar of the county of which he or she is a resident and may take the application with him or her and secure assistance in completing the application from any person of the applicant’s choice. It shall be the duty of all registrars to furnish applications for registration to all persons requesting them, and it shall likewise be the registrar’s duty to furnish aid and assistance in the completing of the application when requested by an applicant. The application for registration shall be sworn to and subscribed before the registrar or deputy registrar at the municipal clerk’s office, the county registrar’s office or any other location where the applicant is allowed to register to vote. The registrar shall not charge a fee or cost to the applicant for accepting the application or administering the oath or for any other duty imposed by law regarding the registration of electors.
(7) If the person making the application is unable to read or write, for reason of disability or otherwise, he or she shall not be required to personally complete the application in writing and execute the oath. In such cases, the registrar or deputy registrar shall read the application and oath to the person and the person’s answers thereto shall be recorded by the registrar or the registrar’s deputy. The person shall be registered as an elector if he or she otherwise meets the requirements to be registered as an elector. The registrar shall record the responses of the person and the recorded responses shall be retained permanently by the registrar. The county registrar shall enter the voter registration information into the Statewide Elections Management System and designate the entry as an assisted filing.
(8) The receipt of a copy of the application for registration sent pursuant to Section 23-15-35(2) shall be sufficient to allow the applicant to be registered as an elector of this state, if the application is not challenged.
(9) In any case in which the corporate boundaries of a municipality change, whether by annexation or redistricting, the municipal clerk shall, within ten (10) days after approval of the change in corporate boundaries, provide to the county registrar conforming geographic data that is compatible with the Statewide Elections Management System. The data shall be developed by the municipality’s use of a standardized format specified by the Statewide Elections Management System. The county registrar, county election commissioner or other county official, who has completed an annual training seminar sponsored by the Secretary of State pertaining to the implementation of new boundary lines in the Statewide Elections Management System and received certification for that training, shall update the municipal boundary information into the Statewide Elections Management System. The Statewide Elections Management System updates the municipal voter registration records and assigns electors to their municipal voting precincts. The county registrar shall forward to the municipal clerk written notification of the additions and changes, and the municipal clerk shall forward to the affected municipal electors written notification of the additions and changes.

§ 23-15-41. Endorsement of application; completion of registration.

(1) When an applicant to register to vote has completed the application form as prescribed by administrative rule, the county registrar shall enter the applicant’s information into the Statewide Elections Management System where the applicant’s status will be marked as “ACTIVE,” “PENDING” or “REJECTED,” and the applicant shall be entitled to register upon his or her request for registration made in person to the registrar, or deputy registrar if a deputy registrar has been appointed. No person other than the registrar, or a deputy registrar, shall register any applicant.
(2) If an applicant is not qualified to register to vote, then the registrar shall enter the applicant’s information into the Statewide Elections Management System and mark the applicant’s status as “PENDING” or “REJECTED,” with the specific reason or reasons for that status noted. The registrar shall notify the election commission of those applicants rejected.

§ 23-15-43. Automatic review where person is not approved for registration.

In the event an applicant is not registered, there shall be an automatic review by the county election commissioners under the procedures provided in Sections 23-15-61 through 23-15-79. In addition to the meetings of the election commissioners provided in those sections, the commissioners are required to hold such additional meetings to determine all pending cases of registration on review before the election at which the applicant desires to vote.
It is not the purpose of this section to indicate the decision that should be reached by the election commissioners in certain cases but to define which applicants should receive further examination by providing for an automatic review.

§ 23-15-45. Notice to person denied registration.

In the event that registration is denied pending automatic review by the county election commissioners, the registrar shall immediately inform the applicant that the registration is denied and advise the applicant of the date, time and place of the next meeting of the county election commissioners, at which time the applicant may present such evidence either in person or in writing as he deems pertinent to the question of residency.

§ 23-15-47. Registering to vote by mail-in application.

(1) Any person who is qualified to register to vote in the State of Mississippi may register to vote by mail-in application in the manner prescribed in this section.
(2) The following procedure shall be used in the registration of electors by mail:

(a) Any qualified elector may register to vote by mailing or delivering a completed mail-in application to his or her county registrar at least thirty (30) days before any election; however, if the thirtieth day to register before an election falls on a Sunday or legal holiday, the registration applications submitted on the business day immediately following the Sunday or legal holiday shall be accepted and entered into the Statewide Elections Management System for the purpose of enabling voters to vote in the next election. The postmark date of a mailed application shall be the applicant’s date of registration.
(b) Upon receipt of a mail-in application, the county registrar shall stamp the application with the date of receipt, and shall verify the application either by matching the applicant’s Mississippi driver’s license number through the Mississippi Department of Public Safety or by matching the applicant’s social security number through the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. Within fourteen (14) days of receipt of a mail-in registration application, the county registrar shall complete action on the application, including any attempts to notify the applicant of the status of his or her application.
(c) If the county registrar determines that the applicant is qualified and his or her application is legible and complete, the county registrar shall mail the applicant written notification that the application has been approved, specifying the county voting precinct, municipal voting precinct, if any, polling place and supervisor district in which the person shall vote. This written notification of approval containing the specified information shall be the voter’s registration card. The registration card shall be provided by the county registrar to the applicant in accordance with Section 23-15-39. Upon entry of the voter registration information into the Statewide Elections Management System, the system shall assign a voter registration number to the applicant. The assigned voter registration number shall be clearly shown on the written notification of approval. In mailing the written notification, the county registrar shall note the following on the envelope: “DO NOT FORWARD”. If any registration notification form is returned as undeliverable, the voter’s registration shall be void.
(d) A mail-in application shall be rejected for any of the following reasons:

(i) An incomplete portion of the application makes it impossible for the registrar to determine the eligibility of the applicant to register;
(ii) A portion of the application is illegible in the opinion of the county registrar and makes it impossible to determine the eligibility of the applicant to register;
(iii) The county registrar is unable to determine, from the address and information stated on the application, the precinct in which the voter should be assigned or the supervisor district in which he or she is entitled to vote;
(iv) The applicant is not qualified to register to vote pursuant to Section 23-15-11;

(v) The county registrar determines that the applicant is already registered as a qualified elector of the county;
(vi) The county registrar is unable to verify the application pursuant to subsection (2)(b) of this section.

(e) If the mail-in application of a person is subject to rejection for any of the reasons set forth in paragraph (d)(i) through (iii) of this subsection, and it appears to the county registrar that the defect or omission is of such a minor nature and that any necessary additional information may be supplied by the applicant over the telephone or by further correspondence, the county registrar may write or call the applicant at the telephone number or address, or both, provided on the application. If the county registrar is able to contact the applicant by mail or telephone, the county registrar shall attempt to ascertain the necessary information, and if this information is sufficient for the registrar to complete the application, the applicant shall be registered. If the necessary information cannot be obtained by mail or telephone, or is not sufficient to complete the application within fourteen (14) days of receipt, the county registrar shall give the applicant written notice of the rejection and provide the reason for the rejection. The county registrar shall further inform the applicant that he or she has a right to attempt to register by appearing in person or by filing another mail-in application.
(f) If a mail-in application is subject to rejection for the reason stated in paragraph (d) (v) of this subsection and the “present home address” portion of the application is different from the residence address for the applicant found in the Statewide Elections Management System, the mail-in application shall be deemed a written request to update the voter’s registration pursuant to Section 23-15-13. The county registrar or the election commissioners shall update the voter’s residence address in the Statewide Elections Management System and, if necessary, advise the voter of a change in the location of his or her county or municipal polling place by mailing the voter a new voter registration card.

(3) The instructions and the application form for voter registration by mail shall be in a form established by rule duly adopted by the Secretary of State.
(4)

(a) The Secretary of State shall prepare and furnish without charge the necessary forms for application for voter registration by mail to each county registrar, municipal clerk, all public schools, each private school that requests such applications, and all public libraries.
(b) The Secretary of State shall distribute without charge sufficient forms for application for voter registration by mail to the Commissioner of Public Safety, who shall distribute the forms to each driver’s license examining and renewal station in the state, and shall ensure that the forms are regularly available to the public at such stations.
(c) Bulk quantities of forms for application for voter registration by mail shall be furnished by the Secretary of State to any person or organization. The Secretary of State shall charge a person or organization the actual cost he or she incurs in providing bulk quantities of forms for application for voter registration to such person or organization.

(5) The originals of completed mail-in applications shall remain on file in the office of the county registrar with copies retained in the Statewide Elections Management System.
(6) If the applicant indicates on the application that he or she resides within the city limits of a city or town in the county of registration, the county registrar shall enter the information into the Statewide Elections Management System.
(7) If the applicant indicates on the application that he or she has previously registered to vote in another county of this state or another state, notice to the voter’s previous county of registration in this state shall be provided through the Statewide Elections Management System. If the voter’s previous place of registration was in another state, notice shall be provided to the voter’s previous state of residence.
(8) Any person who attempts to register to vote by mail shall be subject to the penalties for false registration provided for in Section 23-15-17.

§ 23-15-49. Change of voter registration information by elector on secured website.

(1)

(a) The Secretary of State shall, with the support of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, establish a secure Internet website to permit registered electors to change their name, address or other information set forth in the elector’s existing voter registration record.
(b) Upon the request of an elector through the secure website, the software used by the Secretary of State for processing applications through the website shall provide for verification that:

(i) The elector has a current and valid Mississippi driver’s license or photo identification card issued by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety and the number for that driver’s license or photo identification card provided by the applicant matches the number for the elector’s driver’s license or photo identification card that is on file with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety;
(ii) The name and date of birth provided by the voter matches the name and date of birth that is on file with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety; and

(iii) The information provided by the elector matches the information on file with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.
If any of the information does not match that on file with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, the changes shall be rejected.

(2) Any person who attempts to change registration information under this section shall be subject to the penalties for false registration provided for in Section 97-13-25.
(3) The Secretary of State and the Department of Public Safety shall enter into a memorandum of understanding providing for the sharing of information required to facilitate the requirements of this section.

SUBARTICLE C. APPEALS UPON DENIAL OF REGISTRATION

§ 23-15-61. Appeal by person denied registration.

Any person denied the right to register as a voter may appeal from the decision of the county registrar to the board of election commissioners by filing with the county registrar, on the same day of the denial or within five (5) days after the denial, a written application for appeal.

 

§ 23-15-63. Appeal by other elector of allowance of registration.

Any elector of the county may likewise appeal from the decision of the county registrar allowing any other person to be registered as a voter; but before the same can be heard, the party appealing shall give notice to the person whose registration is appealed from, in writing, stating the grounds of the appeal. The notice shall be served by the sheriff or a constable, as process in other courts is required to be served; and the officer may demand and receive for such service, from the person requesting the same, the sum of One Dollar ($1.00).

 

§ 23-15-65. Determination of appeals at September meeting of board of election commissioners.

The board of election commissioners shall meet at the courthouse of its county on the second Monday in September preceding any general election, and shall remain in session from day to day, so long as business may require. Three (3) election commissioners shall constitute a quorum to do business; but the concurrence of at least three (3) election commissioners shall be necessary in all cases for the rendition of a decision. The election commissioners shall hear and determine all appeals from the decisions of the registrar of their county, allowing or refusing the applications of electors to be registered; and they shall correct illegal or improper registrations, and shall secure the elective franchise, as affected by registration, to those who may be illegally or improperly denied the same.

 

§ 23-15-67. Determination of appeals at other meetings.

The election commissioners of each county shall, at the meetings provided for in Sections 23-15-123, 23-15-155 and 23-15-157, hear and determine any appeals which may have been perfected and which are pending on the respective dates provided for in Sections 23-15-123, 23-15-155 and 23-15-157, from the decisions of the registrar of their county allowing or refusing the applications of persons to be registered. The above dates for hearing the appeals are supplemental to the provisions of Section 23-15-65.

 

§ 23-15-69. Appeals heard de novo; finality of decisions.

All cases on appeal shall be heard by the boards of election commissioners de novo, and oral and documentary evidence may be heard by them; and they are authorized to administer oaths to witnesses before them; and they have power to subpoena witnesses, and to compel their attendance; to send for persons and papers; to require the sheriff and constables to attend them and to execute their process. The decisions of the commissioners in all cases shall be final as to questions of fact, but as to matters of law they may be revised by circuit courts and the Supreme Court. The registrar shall obey the orders of the commissioners in directing a person to be registered, or a name to be stricken from the Statewide Elections Management System.

 

§ 23-15-71. Appeal from decision of commissioners.

Any elector aggrieved by the decision of the commissioners shall have the right to file a bill of exceptions thereto, to be approved and signed by the commissioners, embodying the evidence in the case and the findings of the commissioners, within two (2) days after the rendition of the decision, and may thereupon appeal to the circuit court upon the execution of a bond, with two
(2) or more sufficient sureties to be approved by the commissioners, in the sum of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), payable to the state, and conditioned to pay all costs in case the appeal shall not be successfully prosecuted; and in case the decision of the commissioners be affirmed, judgment shall be entered on the bond for all costs.

 

§ 23-15-73. Duty of commissioners upon appeal.

It shall be the duty of the commissioners, in case of appeal from their decision, to return the bill of exceptions and the appeal bond into the circuit court of the county within five (5) days after the filing of the same with them; and the circuit courts shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine such appeals.

 

§ 23-15-75. Proceedings in circuit court.

Should the judgment of the circuit court be in favor of the right of an elector to be registered, the court shall so order, and shall, by its judgment, direct the registrar of the county forthwith to register him. Costs shall not, in any case, be adjudged against the county.

 

§ 23-15-77. Costs.

The election commissioners shall not award costs in proceedings before them; but circuit courts and the Supreme Court shall allow costs as in other cases.

 

§ 23-15-79. Date of registration to vote.

(1) Unless the application for registration was made pursuant to Section 23-15-47, the date of registration to vote shall be the date the application for registration to vote was initially received by the registrar or, if submitted by mail, the postmark date, regardless of the date on which the county election commission, circuit court or Supreme Court, as the case may be, makes its final determination allowing the registration.
(2) In the case of an application for registration that has been made pursuant to Section 23-15-47, the date of registration to vote shall be the date the complete and legible application form is received by the county registrar, or, if mailed, the postmark date of the complete and legible application.

 

SUBARTICLE D. LIABILITY OF THE REGISTRAR, PENALTIES AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

§ 23-15-91. No personal liability for error of judgment.

The county registrar, while acting within his jurisdiction and under the authority of this chapter, shall not be liable personally for any error of judgment regarding the registration of electors.

 

§ 23-15-93. Penalties.

If any election commissioner or registrar shall refuse or neglect to perform any of the duties imposed upon him or her by this chapter regarding the registration of electors, or shall knowingly permit any person to sign a false affidavit or otherwise knowingly permit any person to violate any provision of this chapter regarding the registration of electors, or shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter regarding the registration of electors, or if any officer taking the affidavits as provided in this chapter regarding registration of electors shall make any false statement in his or her certificate thereto attached, he or she shall be deemed guilty of a crime and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or by imprisonment in the penitentiary not exceeding one (1) year, and shall be removed from office.

 

§ 23-15-95. Injunctive relief.

In addition to the penalties set forth in Section 23-15-93, any applicant aggrieved by any registrar or election commissioner because of their refusal or neglect to perform any of the duties prescribed by this chapter regarding the registration of electors may petition the chancery court of the county of the registrar or election commissioner for an injunction or mandate to enforce the performance of such duties and to secure to that applicant the rights to which he or she may be entitled under the provisions of the sections.

 

SUBARTICLE E. REGISTRATION RECORDS

§ 23-15-111. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 441, § 189, effective from and after July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-111. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-5-23 [Codes, 1942, § 3209.9; Laws, 1955, Ex ch. 102, § 4; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 335]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 29, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]

§ 23-15-113. Contents of voter registration files; storage of voter registration records.

(1) The voter registration files shall contain copies of the applications for registration completed by electors, which applications shall show the date of registration and signature of elector.
(2) All records pertaining to voter registration shall be stored in an electronic format in the Statewide Elections Management System by the county registrar. The scanned applications shall be a legal document of voter registration and shall be retained in the Statewide Elections Management System.

 

§ 23-15-114. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2006, ch. 574, § 21 effective and in force from and after June 5, 2006, the date it was effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
[Laws, 1991, ch. 440, § 2, eff from and after May 1, 1992 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection to this amendment).]

 

§ 23-15-115. Transfer of voter registration necessitated by change in boundaries of legislative districts.

When a transfer of a voter registration is necessitated by any change in the boundaries of legislative districts, supervisors districts, voting precincts, or other similar boundaries, such information necessary to bring about such transfer may be secured by mail or otherwise. Necessary forms for the purposes of securing necessary information shall be prepared by the registrar.

§ 23-15-117. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2016, ch. 430, § 22, effective January 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-117. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-5-45 [Codes, 1880, § 114; 1892, § 3617; 1906, § 4124; Hemingway’s 1917, § 6758; 1930, § 6191; 1942, § 3219; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 335]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 32, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]

§ 23-15-119. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 441, § 189, effective July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-119. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-5-47 [Codes, 1880, § 115; 1892, § 3618; 1906, § 4125; Hemingway’s 1917, § 6759; 1930, § 6192; 1942, § 3220; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 335]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 33, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]

§ 23-15-121. Loss or destruction of electronic voting record.

Should the electronic voting record of any county as maintained by the Statewide Elections Management System be lost or destroyed, the board of supervisors may adjudge the fact, and direct a new registration of the voters to be made; and the county registrar, being so directed, shall make a new registration, as herein provided, of the qualified electors of his or her county.

 

§ 23-15-123. Confusion of registration books.

If at any time the registration books of the county as maintained by the Statewide Elections Management System be or become in such confusion that a new registration is necessary to determine correctly the names of the qualified electors and the voting precinct of each, the board of supervisors shall order a new registration of voters to be made in like manner as provided for in Section 23-15-121.

 

§ 23-15-125. Form of pollbooks.

The pollbook of each voting precinct shall designate the voting precinct for which it is to be used, and shall be ruled in appropriate columns, with printed or written headings, as follows: date of registration; voter registration number; name of electors; date of birth; and a number of blank columns for the dates of elections. All qualified applicants who register with the registrar shall be entered in the Statewide Elections Management System. Only the names of those qualified applicants who register within thirty (30) days before an election shall appear on the pollbooks of the election; however, if the thirtieth day to register before an election falls on a Sunday or legal holiday, the registration applications submitted on the business day immediately following the legal holiday shall be accepted and entered in the Statewide Elections Management System for the purpose of enabling voters to vote in the next election. When county election commissioners determine that any elector is disqualified from voting, by reason of death, conviction of a disenfranchising crime, removal from the jurisdiction, or other legal cause, that fact shall be noted in the Statewide Elections Management System and the voter’s name shall be removed from the Statewide Elections Management System, the state’s voter roll and the county’s pollbooks. Nothing in this section shall preclude the use of electronic pollbooks.

 

§ 23-15-127. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 441, § 189, effective July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-127. [Derived from 1942 Code § 3112 [Laws, 1934, ch. 308; repealed by Laws, 1970,
ch. 506, § 33, and 1986, ch. 495, § 346]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 37; Laws, 2006, ch. 574,
§ 10, eff June 5, 2006 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section.)]

 

§ 23-15-129. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 441, § 189, effective July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-129. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-5-74 [Laws, 1977, 2d Ex Sess, ch. 24, § 1; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 331]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 38; Laws, 2006, ch. 574, § 11, eff June 5, 2006 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section.)]

 

§ 23-15-131. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2006, ch. 574, § 21 effective and in force from and after June 5, 2006, the date it was effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
[Derived from 1972 Code § 23-5-75 [Codes, 1892, § 3621; Laws, 1906, § 4128;
Hemingway’s 1917, § 6762; Laws, 1930, § 6205; Laws, 1942, § 3233; Laws, 1977 2d Ex Sess,
ch. 24, § 4; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 331]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 39, eff from and
after January 1, 1987.]

 

§ 23-15-133. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 441, § 189, effective July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-133. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-5-76 [Laws, 1977, 2d Ex Sess, ch. 24, § 2; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 331]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 40, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]

§ 23-15-135. Registrar to keep master voter roll and pollbooks and provide location for accepting applications for Mississippi Voter Identification Cards.

(1) The master voter roll as electronically maintained by the Statewide Elections Management System of the several voting precincts of each county and the pollbooks heretofore in use shall be delivered to the registrar of the county, and they, together with the master voter roll and pollbooks hereafter made, shall be records of his or her office, and he or she shall carefully preserve the same as such; and after each election the pollbooks shall be speedily returned to the office of the registrar.
(2) The registrar of each county shall provide a location in the registrar’s office at which he or she shall accept applications for Mississippi Voter Identification Cards in accordance with the Mississippi Constitution.
(3) The registrar of each county shall enter into a Memorandum of Understanding, which is negotiated by the Secretary of State, with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety for the purpose of providing a Mississippi Voter Identification Card.

 

§ 23-15-137. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 441, § 189, effective July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-137. [Laws, 1994, ch. 590, § 1; Laws, 2004, ch. 305, § 11; Laws, 2006, ch. 574, § 12;
Laws, 2006, ch. 585, § 1, eff from and after June 5, 2006 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section by Laws, 2006, ch. 574, § 12).]

 

§§ 23-15-139 and 23-15-140. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2002, ch 588, § 4, eff from and after July 29, 2002 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the repeal of this section).
§ 23-15-139. [Laws, 1997, ch. 421, § 1.]
§ 23-15-140. [Laws, 1997, ch. 421, § 2.]

 

SUBARTICLE F. PURGING

§ 23-15-151. List of persons convicted of certain crimes to be kept by circuit clerk and entered into Statewide Elections Management System; removal of disenfranchised voters from system.

The circuit clerk of each county is authorized and directed to prepare and keep in his or her office a full and complete list, in alphabetical order, of persons convicted of voter fraud or of any crime listed in Section 241, Mississippi Constitution of 1890. A certified copy of any enrollment by one clerk to another will be sufficient authority for the enrollment of the name, or names, in another county. A list of persons convicted of voter fraud, any crime listed in Section 241, Mississippi Constitution of 1890, or any crime interpreted as disenfranchising in later Attorney General opinions, shall also be entered into the Statewide Elections Management System on a quarterly basis. Voters who have been convicted in a Mississippi state court of any disenfranchising crime are not qualified electors as defined by Section 23-15-11 and shall be purged or otherwise removed by the county registrar or county election commissioners from the Statewide Elections Management System.

§ 23-15-153. Revision of county voter roll by election commissioners; removal of voters from roll; amount and limitations of per diem payments to election commissioners; distribution of master voter roll to municipal registrars; certification of hours worked; number of days in calendar year for which election commissioners entitled to receive compensation.

(1) At least during the following times, the election commissioners shall meet at the office of the registrar or the office of the election commissioners to carefully revise the county voter roll as electronically maintained by the Statewide Elections Management System and remove from the roll the names of all voters who have requested to be purged from the voter roll, died, received an adjudication of non compos mentis, been convicted of a disenfranchising crime, or otherwise become disqualified as electors for any cause, and shall register the names of all persons who have duly applied to be registered but have been illegally denied registration:

(a) On the Tuesday after the second Monday in January 1987 and every following year;
(b) On the first Tuesday in the month immediately preceding the first primary election for members of Congress in the years when members of Congress are elected;
(c) On the first Monday in the month immediately preceding the first primary election for state, state district legislative, county and county district offices in the years in which those offices are elected; and
(d) On the second Monday of September preceding the general election or regular special election day in years in which a general election is not conducted.

Except for the names of those voters who are duly qualified to vote in the election, no name shall be permitted to remain in the Statewide Elections Management System; however, no name shall be purged from the Statewide Elections Management System based on a change in the residence of an elector except in accordance with procedures provided for by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. Except as otherwise provided by Section 23-15-573, no person shall vote at any election whose name is not in the county voter roll electronically maintained by the Statewide Elections Management System.
(2) Except as provided in this section, and subject to the following annual limitations, the election commissioners shall be entitled to receive a per diem in the amount of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), to be paid from the county general fund, for every day or period of no less than five (5) hours accumulated over two (2) or more days actually employed in the performance of their duties in the conduct of an election or actually employed in the performance of their duties for the necessary time spent in the revision of the county voter roll as electronically maintained by the Statewide Elections Management System as required in subsection (1) of this section:

(a) In counties having less than fifteen thousand (15,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than fifty (50) days per year, with no more than fifteen (15) additional days allowed for the conduct of each election in excess of one (1) occurring in any calendar year;
(b) In counties having fifteen thousand (15,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than thirty thousand (30,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than seventy-five (75) days per year, with no more than twenty-five (25) additional days allowed for the conduct of each election in excess of one (1) occurring in any calendar year;
(c) In counties having thirty thousand (30,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than seventy thousand (70,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than one hundred (100) days per year, with no more than thirty-five (35) additional days allowed for the conduct of each election in excess of one (l) occurring in any calendar year;
(d) In counties having seventy thousand (70,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than ninety thousand (90,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than one hundred twenty-five (125) days per year, with no more than forty-five (45) additional days allowed for the conduct of each election in excess of one (1) occurring in any calendar year;
(e) In counties having ninety thousand (90,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than one hundred seventy thousand (170,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than one hundred fifty (150) days per year, with no more than fifty-five (55) additional days allowed for the conduct of each election in excess of one (1) occurring in any calendar year;
(f) In counties having one hundred seventy thousand (170,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than two hundred thousand (200,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than one hundred seventy-five (175) days per year, with no more than sixty-five (65) additional days allowed for the conduct of each election in excess of one (1) occurring in any calendar year;
(g) In counties having two hundred thousand (200,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than two hundred twenty-five thousand (225,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than one hundred ninety (190) days per year, with no more than seventy-five (75) additional days allowed for the conduct of each election in excess of one (l) occurring in any calendar year;
(h) In counties having two hundred twenty-five thousand (225,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than two hundred fifteen (215) days per year, with no more than eighty-five (85) additional days allowed for the conduct of each election in excess of one (1) occurring in any calendar year;
(i) In counties having two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than two hundred seventy-five thousand (275,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than two hundred thirty (230) days per year, with no more than ninety-five (95) additional days allowed for the conduct of each election in excess of one (1) occurring in any calendar year;
(j) In counties having two hundred seventy-five thousand (275,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census or more, not more than two hundred forty (240) days per year, with no more than one hundred five (105) additional days allowed for the conduct of each election in excess of one (l) occurring in any calendar year.

(3) In addition to the number of days authorized in subsection (2) of this section, the board of supervisors of a county may authorize, in its discretion, the election commissioners to receive a per diem in the amount provided for in subsection (2) of this section, to be paid from the county general fund, for every day or period of no less than five (5) hours accumulated over two
(2) or more days actually employed in the performance of their duties in the conduct of an election or actually employed in the performance of their duties for the necessary time spent in the revision of the county voter roll as electronically maintained by the Statewide Elections Management System as required in subsection (1) of this section, for not to exceed five (5) days.
(4)

(a) The election commissioners shall be entitled to receive a per diem in the amount of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), to be paid from the county general fund, not to exceed ten (10) days for every day or period of no less than five (5) hours accumulated over two (2) or more days actually employed in the performance of their duties for the necessary time spent in the revision of the county voter roll as electronically maintained by the Statewide Elections Management System before any special election. For purposes of this paragraph, the regular special election day shall not be considered a special election. The annual limitations set forth in subsection (2) of this section shall not apply to this paragraph.
(b) The election commissioners shall be entitled to receive a per diem in the amount of One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150.00), to be paid from the county general fund, for the performance of their duties on the day of any general or special election. The annual limitations set forth in subsection (2) of this section shall apply to this paragraph.

(5) The election commissioners shall be entitled to receive a per diem in the amount of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), to be paid from the county general fund, not to exceed fourteen
(14) days for every day or period of no less than five (5) hours accumulated over two (2) or more days actually employed in the performance of their duties for the necessary time spent in the revision of the county voter roll as electronically maintained by the Statewide Elections Management System and in the conduct of a runoff election following either a general or special election.
(6) The election commissioners shall be entitled to receive only one (1) per diem payment for those days when the election commissioners discharge more than one (1) duty or responsibility on the same day.
(7) In preparation for a municipal primary, runoff, general or special election, the county registrar shall generate and distribute the master voter roll and pollbooks from the Statewide Elections Management System for the municipality located within the county. The municipality shall pay the county registrar for the actual cost of preparing and printing the municipal master voter roll pollbooks. A municipality may secure “read only” access to the Statewide Elections Management System and print its own pollbooks using this information.
(8) County election commissioners who perform the duties of an executive committee with regard to the conduct of a primary election under a written agreement authorized by law to be entered into with an executive committee shall receive per diem as provided for in subsection (2) of this section. The days that county election commissioners are employed in the conduct of a primary election shall be treated the same as days county election commissioners are employed in the conduct of other elections.
(9) In addition to any per diem authorized by this section, any election commissioner shall be entitled to the mileage reimbursement rate allowable to federal employees for the use of a privately owned vehicle while on official travel on election day.
(10) Every election commissioner shall sign personally a certification setting forth the number of hours actually worked in the performance of the commissioner’s official duties and for which the commissioner seeks compensation. The certification must be on a form as prescribed in this subsection. The commissioner’s signature is, as a matter of law, made under the commissioner’s oath of office and under penalties of perjury.

The certification form shall be as follows:

COUNTY ELECTION COMMISSIONER

PER DIEM CLAIM FORM

NAME:_______________                                                           COUNTY:_______________

ADDRESS:_______________                                                    DISTRICT:_______________
CITY:__________  ZIP:___________

DATE          BEGINNING  ENDING  PURPOSE  APPLICABLE  ACTUAL   PER DIEM

WORKED  TIME                TIME        OF WORK  MS CODE        HOURS    DAYS EARNED

  SECTION         WORKED

TOTAL NUMBER OF PER DIEM DAYS EARNED

EXCLUDING ELECTION DAYS _______________

PER DIEM RATE PER DAY EARNED x $100.00

TOTAL NUMBER PER DIEM DAYS EARNED

FOR ELECTION DAYS _______________

PER DIEM RATE PER DAY EARNED x $150.00

TOTAL AMOUNT OF PER DIEM CLAIMED $____________
I understand that I am signing this document under my oath as an election commissioner and under penalties of perjury.

I understand that I am requesting payment from taxpayer funds and that I have an obligation to be specific and truthful as to the amount of hours worked and the compensation I am requesting.

Signed this the _______day of_______,________.

________________________________

Commissioner’s Signature

When properly completed and signed, the certification must be filed with the clerk of the county board of supervisors before any payment may be made. The certification will be a public record available for inspection and reproduction immediately upon the oral or written request of any person.
Any person may contest the accuracy of the certification in any respect by notifying the chair of the commission, any member of the board of supervisors or the clerk of the board of supervisors of the contest at any time before or after payment is made. If the contest is made before payment is made, no payment shall be made as to the contested certificate until the contest is finally disposed of. The person filing the contest shall be entitled to a full hearing, and the clerk of the board of supervisors shall issue subpoenas upon request of the contestor compelling the attendance of witnesses and production of documents and things. The contestor shall have the right to appeal de novo to the circuit court of the involved county, which appeal must be perfected within thirty (30) days from a final decision of the commission, the clerk of the board of supervisors or the board of supervisors, as the case may be.
Any contestor who successfully contests any certification will be awarded all expenses incident to his or her contest, together with reasonable attorney’s fees, which will be awarded upon petition to the chancery court of the involved county upon final disposition of the contest before the election commission, board of supervisors, clerk of the board of supervisors, or, in case of an appeal, final disposition by the court. The commissioner against whom the contest is decided shall be liable for the payment of the expenses and attorney’s fees, and the county shall be jointly and severally liable for same.
(11) Any election commissioner who has not received a certificate issued by the Secretary of State pursuant to Section 23-15-211 indicating that the election commissioner has received the required elections seminar instruction and that the election commissioner has received the required elections seminar instruction and that the election commissioner is fully qualified to conduct an election, shall not receive any compensation authorized by this section or Section 23-15-239.

§§ 23-15-155 and 23-15-157. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1987, ch. 499, § 19, eff from and after July 24, 1987 (the date on which the United States Attorney General interposed no objection to the repeal of this section).

§ 23-15-155. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-5-80 (Laws, 1983, ch. 423, § 3; Laws, 1986, ch.
484, § 14; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 335); en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 44]
§ 23-15-157. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-5-81 (Codes, 1942, § 3240; Laws, 1938, Ex ch.
84; Laws, 1946, ch. 220; Laws, 1958, ch. 541; Laws, 1963, 1st Ex Sess ch. 33; Laws, 1966, ch.
612, § 1; Laws, 1975, ch. 497, § 1; Laws, 1979, ch. 487, § 2; Laws, 1983, ch. 423, §§ 2, 4;
repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 335); en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 45]

§ 23-15-159. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2000, ch. 430, § 7, effective from and after August 11, 2000 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the repeal of this section).
[Derived from 1972 Code § 23-5-82 [Laws, 1983, ch. 524, §§ 1, 2; Repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 335]; En, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 46, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]

 

§ 23-15-160. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 441, § 189, effective July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-160. [Laws, 2000, ch. 430, § 5, eff from and after August 11, 2000 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the enactment of this section.)]

§ 23-15-161. Attendance and assistance of county registrar at meeting of county election commissioners.

The county registrar shall:

(a) Attend the meetings of the county election commissioners;
(b) Permit and furnish them access to the Statewide Elections Management System; and
(c) Render them all needed assistance of which the registrar is capable in the performance of their duties in revising the list of qualified electors.

 

SUBARTICLE G. STATEWIDE CENTRALIZED VOTER SYSTEM

§ 23-15-163. Purpose of subarticle.

The purposes of this subarticle are:

(a) To establish a centralized statewide qualified voter file that consists of all qualified electors who are registered to vote;
(b) To enhance the uniformity of the administration of elections by creating and maintaining a centralized statewide file of qualified voters;
(c) To increase the efficiency and decrease the cost of maintaining voter registration records and implementing the National Voter Registration Act of 1993;
(d) To increase the integrity of the voting process by compiling a single centralized qualified voter file from county voter roll data that will permit the name of each citizen of this state to appear only once;
(e) To apply technology and information gathered by principal executive departments of state government, state agencies and local voter registrars in a manner that ensures that accurate and current records of qualified voters are maintained and to secure cooperation among all state and county entities to develop systems and processes that are interfaced with the Statewide Elections Management System; and
(f) To enable the state to receive federal funds which may be available to carry out provisions of this subarticle.

 

§ 23-15-165. Implementation of centralized database of registered voters; functions; format; advisory committee.

(1) The Office of the Secretary of State, in cooperation with the county registrars and election commissioners, shall procure, implement and maintain an electronic information processing system and programs capable of maintaining a centralized database of all registered voters in the state. The system shall encompass software and hardware, at both the state and county level, software development training, conversion and support and maintenance for the system. This system shall be known as the “Statewide Elections Management System” and shall constitute the official record of registered voters in every county of the state.
(2) The Office of the Secretary of State shall develop and implement the Statewide Elections Management System so that the registrar and election commissioners of each county shall:

(a) Verify that an applicant that is registering to vote in that county is not registered to vote in another county;
(b) Be notified automatically that a registered voter in its county has registered to vote in another county;
(c) Receive regular reports of death, changes of address and convictions for disenfranchising crimes that apply to voters registered in the county; and
(d) Retain all present functionality related to, but not limited to, the use of voter roll data and to implement such other functionality as the law requires to enhance the maintenance of accurate county voter records and related jury selection and redistricting programs.

(3) As a part of the procurement and implementation of the system, the Office of the Secretary of State shall, with the assistance of the advisory committee, procure services necessary to convert current voter registration records in the counties into a standard, industry accepted file format that can be used on the Statewide Elections Management System. Thereafter, all official voter information shall be maintained on the Statewide Elections Management System. The standard industry accepted format of data was reviewed and approved by a majority of the advisory committee created in subsection (5) of this section after consultation with the Circuit Clerks Association and the format may not be changed without consulting the Circuit Clerks Association.
(4) The Secretary of State may, with the assistance of the advisory committee, adopt rules and regulations necessary to administer the Statewide Elections Management System. The rules and regulations shall at least:

(a) Provide for the establishment and maintenance of a centralized database for all voter registration information in the state;
(b) Provide procedures for integrating data into the centralized database;
(c) Provide security to ensure that only the registrar, or his or her designee or other appropriate official, as the law may require, can add information to, delete information from and modify information in the system;
(d) Provide the registrar or his or her designee or other appropriate official, as the law may require, access to the system at all times, including the ability to download copies of the industry standard file, for all purposes related to their official duties, including, but not limited to, exclusive access for the purpose of printing all local pollbooks;
(e) Provide security and protection of all information in the system and monitor the system to ensure that unauthorized access is not allowed;
(f) Provide a procedure that will allow the registrar, or his or her designee or other appropriate official, as the law may require, to identify the precinct to which a voter should be assigned; and
(g) Provide a procedure for phasing in or converting existing manual and computerized voter registration systems in counties to the Statewide Elections Management System.

(5) The Secretary of State established an advisory committee to assist in developing system specifications, procurement, implementation and maintenance of the Statewide Elections Management System. The committee included two (2) representatives from the Circuit Clerks Association, appointed by the association; two (2) representatives from the Election Commissioners Association of Mississippi, appointed by the association; one (1) member of the Mississippi Association of Supervisors, or its staff, appointed by the association; the Director of the Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University, or his or her designee; the Executive Director of the Department of Information Technology Services, or his or her designee; two (2) persons knowledgeable about elections and information technology appointed by the Secretary of State; and the Secretary of State, who shall serve as the chair of the advisory committee.
(6)

(a) Social security numbers, telephone numbers and date of birth and age information in statewide, district, county and municipal voter registration files shall be exempt from and shall not be subject to inspection, examination, copying or reproduction under the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983.
(b) Copies of statewide, district, county or municipal voter registration files, excluding social security numbers, telephone numbers and date of birth and age information, shall be provided to any person in accordance with the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983 at a cost not to exceed the actual cost of production.

 

§ 23-15-167. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 441, § 190, effective July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-167. [Laws, 2002, ch. 588, § 3, eff July 29, 2002 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the addition of this section.)]

SUBARTICLE H. COMPLIANCE WITH HELP AMERICA VOTE ACT OF 2002

§ 23-15-169. Secretary of State to establish administrative complaint procedure for handling grievances.

The Secretary of State shall, by rule and regulation, establish an administrative complaint procedure for handling grievances in accordance with the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

 

§ 23-15-169.1. Secretary of State and Commissioner of Public Safety to enter agreement granting access to driver’s license and identification cardholder databases for purpose of matching information in Statewide Elections Management System.

The Secretary of State and the Commissioner of Public Safety shall enter into an agreement to grant the Secretary of State’s Office “read only” access to the driver’s license database and identification cardholder database for the purpose of matching information in the database of the Statewide Elections Management System created in Section 23-15-163 et seq. to the extent required to enable the Secretary of State to verify the accuracy of information provided on applications for voter registration in compliance with the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

 

§ 23-15-169.2. Commissioner of Public Safety to enter agreement with Commissioner of Social Security to verify accuracy of information provided with respect to applications for voter registration.

The Commissioner of Public Safety shall enter into an agreement with the Commissioner of Social Security under Section 205 (r) (8) of the Social Security Act in accordance with the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to verify the accuracy of applicable information provided by the Commissioner of Public Safety with respect to applications for voter registration.

 

§ 23-15-169.3. Secretary of State authorized to accept and expend federal funds under Help America Vote Act of 2002; eligibility for federal funds of counties purchasing voting systems that comply with Act.

(1) The Secretary of State shall have the authority to accept federal funds authorized under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 and to meet all the requirements of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 in order to expend the funds.
(2) Counties that purchase or have purchased since January 1, 2001, voting systems that comply with the requirements of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 shall be eligible for federal funds accepted by the Secretary of State for Help America Vote Act of 2002 compliance efforts. The only restriction that the Secretary of State may place on the expenditure of federal funds for the purchase of voting systems is that the systems comply with the criteria and rules established in the Help America Vote Act of 2002 for voting systems.

(3) Counties may purchase voting systems under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) if:

(a) The system selected is HAVA compliant as determined by the rules promulgated to effectuate the Help America Vote Act of 2002 in this state; and
(b) The County Board of Supervisors spreads upon its minutes a certification of the following:

(i) The county determined it is in its best interest to opt out of any statewide bulk purchase to be effectuated by the Secretary of State pursuant to his duties under HAVA;
(ii) The voting system selected by the county meets all of the foregoing requirements under HAVA;
(iii) The county understands and accepts any and all liability for said system; and
(iv) The county is solely responsible for the purchase of said system.

Upon meeting the foregoing requirements, a county shall be reimbursed for its costs for said system from the HAVA funds for this purpose; however, the county shall be limited in its reimbursement to an amount to be determined by the Secretary of State based upon an objective formula implemented for the statewide, bulk purchase of said voting systems. Any costs over and above the set formula described herein shall be the sole responsibility of the county.
(c) In addition to other information required by paragraph (b) of this subsection, any county that purchases voting systems after June 6, 2005 shall spread upon its minutes certification of the following:

(i) All voting systems within the county are the same, except those machines that are handicap accessible as required by HAVA; and
(ii) The voting systems have a device or mechanism that allows any votes cast to be verified by paper audit trail.

 

§ 23-15-169.4. Information to be provided to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters regarding voter registration and absentee ballot procedures.

The Secretary of State shall be responsible for providing to all absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters who wish to vote or register to vote in this state information required by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 regarding voter registration procedures and absentee ballot procedures to be used by absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters with respect to elections, including procedures relating to the use of the federal write-in absentee ballot.

 

§ 23-15-169.5. Rules and regulations to be promulgated by the Secretary of State.

The Secretary of State shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to effectuate the provisions of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 in this state.

 

§ 23-15-169.6. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 402, § 1, and ch. 441, § 191, effective from and after July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-169.6. [Laws, 2005, ch. 534, § 18, eff June 6, 2005 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the addition of this section.)]

§ 23-15-169.7. “Help Mississippi Vote Fund” created; use of money in fund; funding of Office of Secretary of State expenses; deposit of user charges and fees authorized under this section into State General Fund and use of monies so deposited.

(1) There is created in the State Treasury a special fund, to be designated the “Help Mississippi Vote Fund” to the credit of the Secretary of State, which shall be comprised of the monies required to be deposited into the fund under Section 7-3-59, and any other funds that may be made available for the fund by the Legislature.
(2) Monies in the fund shall be expended by the Secretary of State to support the state’s maintenance of efforts as required by the federal mandates of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 and for compensation paid to any certified poll manager under Section 23-15-239.
(3) Unexpended amounts remaining in the special fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any interest earned or investment earnings on amounts in the special fund shall be deposited to the credit of the special fund.
(4) From and after July 1, 2016, the expenses of this agency shall be defrayed by line item appropriation from the State General Fund to the Office of Secretary of State and all user charges and fees authorized under this section shall be deposited into the State General Fund as authorized by law and as determined by the State Fiscal Officer, and shall not be authorized for expenditure by the Secretary of State to reimburse or otherwise defray expenses of any office administered by the Secretary of State.
(5) From and after July 1, 2016, no state agency shall charge another state agency a fee, assessment, rent or other charge for services or resources received by authority of this section.

 

ARTICLE 5. TIMES OF PRIMARY AND GENERAL ELECTIONS

 

SUBARTICLE A. MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS

§ 23-15-171. Primary elections.

(1) Municipal primary elections shall be held on the first Tuesday in April preceding the general municipal election and, in the event a second primary shall be necessary, such second primary shall be held on the fourth Tuesday in April preceding such general municipal election. The candidate receiving a majority of the votes cast in the election shall be the party nominee. If no candidate shall receive a majority vote at the election, the two (2) candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall have their names placed on the ballot for the second primary election. The candidate receiving the most votes cast in the second primary election shall be the party nominee. However, if no candidate shall receive a majority vote at the first primary, and there is a tie in the election of those receiving the next highest vote, those candidates receiving the next highest vote and the candidate receiving the highest vote shall have their names placed on the ballot for the second primary election, and whoever receives the most votes cast in the second primary election shall be the party nominee. At the primary election the municipal executive committee shall perform the same duties as are specified by law and performed by members of the county executive committee with regard to state and county primary elections. Each municipal executive committee shall have as many members as there are elective officers of the municipality, and the members of the municipal executive committee of each political party shall be elected in the primary elections held for the nomination of candidates for municipal offices. The provisions of this section shall govern all municipal primary elections as far as applicable, but the officers to prepare the ballots and the poll managers and other officials of the primary election shall be appointed by the municipal executive committee of the party holding the primary, and the returns of such election shall be made to such municipal executive committee. Vacancies in the executive committee shall be filled by it.
(2) Provided, however, that in municipalities operating under a special or private charter which fixes a time for holding elections, other than the time fixed by Chapter 491, Laws of 1950, the first primary election shall be held on the first Tuesday, two (2) months before the time for holding the general election, as fixed by the charter, and the second primary election, where necessary, shall be held three (3) weeks after the first primary election, unless the charter of any such municipality provides otherwise, in which event the provisions of the special or private charter shall prevail as to the time of holding such primary elections.

(3) All primary elections in municipalities shall be held and conducted in the same manner as is provided by law for state and county primary elections.

 

§ 23-15-173. General elections; applicability of this section and Section 23-15-171 to certain special or private charter municipalities.

(1) A general municipal election shall be held in each city, town or village on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of June 1985, and every four (4) years thereafter, for the election of all municipal officers elected by the people.
(2) All municipal general elections shall be held and conducted in the same manner as is provided by law for state and county general elections.
(3) The provisions of Sections 23-15-171 and 23-15-173, which fix the times to hold primary and general elections, shall not apply to any municipality operating under a special or private charter where the governing board or authority thereof, on or before June 25, 1952, shall have adopted and spread upon its minutes a resolution or ordinance declining to accept the provisions, in which event the primary and general elections shall be held at the time fixed by the charter of the municipality.

 

SUBARTICLE B. OTHER ELECTIONS

§ 23-15-191. Primary elections.

The first primary shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of August preceding any regular or general election; and the second primary shall be held three (3) weeks thereafter. The candidate that receives a majority of the votes cast in the election shall be the party nominee. If no candidate receives a majority vote at the election, then the two (2) candidates who receive the highest number of votes shall have their names placed on the ballot for the second primary election to be held three (3) weeks later. The candidate who receives the most votes in the second primary election shall be the party nominee. However, if no candidate receives a majority vote at the first primary, and there is a tie in the election of those receiving the next highest vote, then those candidates receiving the next highest vote and the candidate receiving the highest vote shall have their names placed on the ballot for the second primary election to be held three (3) weeks later, and whoever receives the most votes cast in the second primary election shall be the party nominee.

 

§ 23-15-193. Officers to be elected at general state election.

At the election in 1995, and every four (4) years thereafter, there shall be elected a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor of Public Accounts, State Treasurer, Attorney General, three (3) public service commissioners, three (3) Mississippi Transportation Commissioners, Commissioner of Insurance, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, Senators and members of the House of Representatives in the Legislature, district attorneys for the several districts, clerks of the circuit and chancery courts of the several counties, as well as sheriffs, coroners, assessors, surveyors and members of the boards of supervisors, justice court judges and constables, and all other officers to be elected by the people at the general state election. All such officers shall hold their offices for a term of four (4) years, and until their successors are elected and qualified. The state officers shall be elected in the manner prescribed in Section 140 of the Constitution.

 

§ 23-15-195. Elections to be by ballot in one day.

All elections by the people shall be by ballot, and shall be concluded in one (1) day.

 

§ 23-15-197. Times for holding elections.

(1) Times for holding primary and general elections for congressional offices shall be as prescribed in Sections 23-15-1031, 23-15-1033 and 23-15-1041.
(2) Times for holding elections for the office of judge of the Supreme Court shall be as prescribed in Section 23-15-991 and Sections 23-15-974 through 23-15-985, and times for holding elections for the office of judge of the Court of Appeals shall be as prescribed in Section 9-4-5.
(3) Times for holding elections for the office of circuit court judge and the office of chancery court judge shall be as prescribed in Sections 23-15-974 through 23-15-985, and Section 23-15-1015.
(4) Times for holding elections for the office of county election commissioners shall be as prescribed in Section 23-15-213.
(5) Times for holding elections for the office of levee commissioner shall be as prescribed in Chapter 12, Laws of 1928; Chapter 574, Laws of 1968; Chapter 85, Laws of 1930; Chapter 317, Laws of 1983; and Chapter 438, Laws of 2010.

 

ARTICLE 7. ELECTION OFFICIALS

§ 23-15-211. Composition and duties of State Board of Election Commissioners; elections training seminar; certification of seminar participants; compensation of commissioners attending seminar; authorization by Secretary of State of additional training days.

(1) There shall be a State Board of Election Commissioners to consist of the following members:

(a) The Governor, who shall serve as chair;
(b) The Secretary of State, who shall serve as secretary, maintain minutes of all meetings and accept service of process on behalf of the board; and
(c) The Attorney General.

Any two (2) of the members of the State Board of Election Commissioners may perform the duties required of the board.
(2) The duties of the board shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(a) Ruling on a candidate’s qualifications to run for statewide, Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, congressional district, circuit and chancery court district, and other state district offices;
(b) Approving the state ballot for the offices stated in paragraph (a) of this subsection (2);
(c) Removing the names of candidates from the ballot for failure to comply with campaign finance filing requirements for the offices stated in paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) in previous election cycles; and
(d) Adopting any administrative rules and regulations as are necessary to carry out the statutory duties of the board.

(3) The board of supervisors of each county shall pay members of the county election commission for attending training events a per diem in the amount provided in Section 23-15-153; however, except as otherwise provided in this section, the per diem shall not be paid to an election commissioner for more than twelve (12) days of training per year and shall only be paid to election commissioners who actually attend and complete a training event and obtain a training certificate.
(4) Included in this twelve (12) days shall be an elections seminar, conducted and sponsored by the Secretary of State. Election commissioners and chairpersons of each political party executive committee, or their designee, shall be required to attend. An election commissioner shall be certified by the Secretary of State only after attending the annual elections seminar and satisfactorily completing the skills assessment provided for in Section 23-15-213.
(5) Each participant shall receive a certificate from the Secretary of State indicating that the named participant has received the elections training seminar instruction and satisfactorily completed the skills assessment provided for in Section 23-15-213. Election commissioners shall annually file the certificate with the chancery clerk. If any election commissioner shall fail to file the certificate by April 30 of each year, his or her office shall be vacated, absent exigent circumstances as determined by the board of supervisors and consistent with the facts. The vacancy shall be declared by the board of supervisors and the vacancy shall be filled in the manner described by law. Before declaring the office vacant, the board of supervisors shall give the election commissioner notice and the opportunity for a hearing.
(6) The Secretary of State, upon approval of the board of supervisors, may authorize not more than eight (8) additional training days per year for election commissioners in one or more counties. The board of supervisors of each county shall pay members of the county election commission for attending training on these days a per diem in the amount provided in Section 23-15-153.

 

§ 23-15-211.1. Secretary of State designated Mississippi’s chief election officer; chief election officer to gather certain information regarding elections; annual report on voter participation.

(1) For purposes of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, the Secretary of State is designated as Mississippi’s chief election officer.
(2) As the chief election officer of the State of Mississippi, the Secretary of State shall have the power and duty to gather sufficient information concerning voting in elections in this state. The Secretary of State shall gather information on voter participation and submit an annual report to the Legislature, the Governor, the Attorney General and the public.

 

§ 23-15-212. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 441, § 192, effective July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-212. [Laws, 1993, ch. 528, § 1, eff from and after August 16, 1993 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection to the addition of this section).]

§ 23-15-213. Election of county election commissioners.

[Until December 31, 2022, this section shall read as follows:]
(1) At the general election in 2020 and every four (4) years thereafter, there shall be elected five (5) election commissioners for each county whose terms of office shall commence on the first Monday of January following their election and who shall serve for a term of four (4) years. Each of the commissioners shall be required to attend a training seminar provided by the Secretary of State and satisfactorily complete a skills assessment, and before acting, shall take and subscribe the oath of office prescribed by the Constitution. The oath shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the chancery court. Upon filing the oath of office, the election commissioner may be provided access to the Statewide Elections Management System for the purpose of performing his or her duties. While engaged in their duties, the commissioners shall be conservators of the peace in the county, with all the duties and powers of such.
(2) The qualified electors of each supervisors district shall elect, at the general election in 2020, in their district one (1) election commissioner. The election commissioners from board of supervisors’ Districts One, Three and Five shall serve for a term of four (4) years. The election commissioners from board of supervisors’ Districts Two and Four shall serve for a term of three (3) years. No more than one (1) commissioner shall be a resident of and reside in each supervisors district of the county; it being the purpose of this section that the county board of election commissioners shall consist of one (1) person from each supervisors district of the county and that each commissioner be elected from the supervisors district in which he or she resides.
(3) Candidates for county election commissioner shall qualify by filing with the clerk of the board of supervisors of their respective counties a petition personally signed by not less than fifty (50) qualified electors of the supervisors district in which they reside, requesting that they be a candidate, by 5:00 p.m. not later than the first Monday in June of the year in which the election occurs and unless the petition is filed within the required time, their names shall not be placed upon the ballot. All candidates shall declare in writing their party affiliation, if any, to the board of supervisors, and such party affiliation shall be shown on the official ballot.
(4) The petition shall have attached thereto a certificate of the county registrar showing the number of qualified electors on each petition, which shall be furnished by the registrar on request. The board shall determine the sufficiency of the petition, and if the petition contains the required number of signatures and is filed within the time required, the president of the board shall verify that the candidate is a resident of the supervisors district in which he or she seeks election and that the candidate is otherwise qualified as provided by law, and shall certify that the candidate is qualified to the chair or secretary of the county election commission and the names of the candidates shall be placed upon the ballot for the ensuing election. No county election commissioner shall serve or be considered as elected until he or she has received a majority of the votes cast for the position or post for which he or she is a candidate. If a majority vote is not received in the first election, then the two (2) candidates receiving the most votes for each position or post shall be placed upon the ballot for a second election to be held three (3) weeks later in accordance with appropriate procedures followed in other elections involving runoff candidates.
(5) Upon taking office, the county election commissioners shall organize by electing a chair and a secretary.
(6) It shall be the duty of the chair to have the official ballot printed and distributed at each general or special election.
[From and after January 1, 2023, this section shall read as follows:]

(1) There shall be elected five (5) election commissioners for each county whose terms of office shall commence on the first Monday of January following their election and who shall serve for a term of four (4) years. Each of the commissioners shall be required to attend a training seminar provided by the Secretary of State and satisfactorily complete a skills assessment, and before acting, shall take and subscribe the oath of office prescribed by the Constitution. The oath shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the chancery court. Upon filing the oath of office, the election commissioner may be provided access to the Statewide Elections Management System for the purpose of performing his or her duties. While engaged in their duties, the commissioners shall be conservators of the peace in the county, with all the duties and powers of such.
(2)

(a) At the general election in 2024 and every four (4) years thereafter, the qualified electors of the board of supervisors’ Districts One, Three and Five shall elect in their district one (1) election commissioner.
(b) At the general election in 2023 and every four (4) years thereafter, the qualified electors of the board of supervisors’ Districts Two and Four shall elect in their district one (1) election commissioner.
(c) No more than one (1) commissioner shall be a resident of and reside in each supervisors district of the county; it being the purpose of this section that the county board of election commissioners shall consist of one (1) person from each supervisors district of the county and that each commissioner be elected from the supervisors district in which he or she resides.

(3) Candidates for county election commissioner shall qualify by filing with the clerk of the board of supervisors of their respective counties a petition personally signed by not less than fifty (50) qualified electors of the supervisors district in which they reside, requesting that they be a candidate, by 5:00 p.m. not later than the first Monday in June of the year in which the election occurs and unless the petition is filed within the required time, their names shall not be placed upon the ballot. All candidates shall declare in writing their party affiliation, if any, to the board of supervisors, and such party affiliation shall be shown on the official ballot.
(4) The petition shall have attached thereto a certificate of the county registrar showing the number of qualified electors on each petition, which shall be furnished by the registrar on request. The board shall determine the sufficiency of the petition, and if the petition contains the required number of signatures and is filed within the time required, the president of the board shall verify that the candidate is a resident of the supervisors district in which he or she seeks election and that the candidate is otherwise qualified as provided by law, and shall certify that the candidate is qualified to the chair or secretary of the county election commission and the names of the candidates shall be placed upon the ballot for the ensuing election. No county election commissioner shall serve or be considered as elected until he or she has received a majority of the votes cast for the position or post for which he or she is a candidate. If a majority vote is not received in the first election, then the two (2) candidates receiving the most votes for each position or post shall be placed upon the ballot for a second election to be held three (3) weeks later in accordance with appropriate procedures followed in other elections involving runoff candidates.
(5) In the first meeting in January of each year, the county election commissioners shall organize by electing a chair and a secretary, who shall serve a one (1) year term. The county election commissioners shall provide the names of the chair and secretary to the Secretary of State and provide notice of any change in officers which may occur during the year.
(6) It shall be the duty of the chair to have the official ballot printed and distributed at each general or special election.

 

§ 23-15-215. Performance by board of supervisors of election commissioners’ duties.

If there shall not be election commissioners in any county, or if they fail to act, the duties prescribed for them shall be performed by the board of supervisors. In such case, the president of the board is charged with the duty of having the official ballot printed and distributed; and the poll managers shall make returns to the board, which shall canvass the returns, give certificates of election, and make report to the Secretary of State, in like manner as the election commissioners are required to do.

 

§ 23-15-217. County election commissioner authorized to be candidate for other office; resignation from office; duties and powers of board of supervisors where election of county election commissioner is contested.

(1) An election commissioner of any county may be a candidate for any other office at any election held or to be held during the four-year term for which he or she has been elected to the office of election commissioner; provided that he or she has resigned from the office of election commissioner before he or she files to qualify for the office that he or she desires to seek. The clerk for the board of supervisors must have actually received the resignation for it to be deemed submitted.
(2) In any case involving the election of a county election commissioner wherein there is a contest of any nature, including, but not limited to, the right of any person to vote or the counting of any challenge ballot, all the duties and powers of the commission in connection with the contest shall be performed by the board of supervisors, as is contemplated by Section 23-15-215 in cases where there are no election commissioners in the county.

 

§ 23-15-219. Employment by board of election commissioners of investigators, legal counsel and others.

(1) The board of election commissioners is hereby authorized and empowered to employ and set or determine the duties of and determine the compensation of such investigators, legal counsel, secretaries, technical advisors and any other employees or persons who or which the board or a majority thereof may deem necessary to enable them to discharge the duties and obligations presently or hereafter vested in them. However, before employing such persons or setting or determining the compensation, the election commissioners must first have the approval of the board of supervisors of the county.

(2) The board of supervisors of the county is authorized and empowered to pay out of the general fund of the county the salaries and necessary traveling and subsistence expenses of the employees of the board of election commissioners in such amounts as may be mutually agreed upon by the board of supervisors and board of election commissioners, but which shall be computed on the same basis allowed to state employees when traveling on state business. All expense accounts of the employees of the board of election commissioners shall be approved by the board of election commissioners and the board of supervisors or, in the discretion of each of the boards, by one (1) of the members of each of the boards duly authorized by the respective boards to approve or disapprove the subsistence, traveling and mileage expense accounts.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a person who holds the office of election commissioner from being employed and receiving compensation pursuant to this section. Any compensation which such a person may receive from his or her employment pursuant to this section shall be in addition to any compensation that person may receive in performing his or her duties as an election commissioner.

 

§ 23-15-221. Appointment and duties of municipal election commissioners; election by municipality to abolish municipal election commissioners in the municipality’s county; municipal election commissioners’ duties assumed by county election commissioners.

(1) The governing authorities of municipalities having a population of less than twenty thousand (20,000) inhabitants according to the last federal decennial census shall appoint three (3) election commissioners; the governing authorities of municipalities having a population of twenty thousand (20,000) inhabitants or more and less than one hundred thousand (100,000) inhabitants according to the last federal decennial census shall appoint five (5) election commissioners; and the governing authorities of municipalities having a population of one hundred thousand (100,000) or more according to the last federal decennial census shall appoint seven (7) election commissioners. The municipal election commissioners, in conjunction with the municipal clerk, shall perform all the duties in respect to the municipal election prescribed by law to be performed by the county election commissioners where not otherwise provided. The election commissioners shall, in case there be but one (1) election precinct in the municipality, act as poll managers themselves.
(2) The city council or board of aldermen or other governing authority of any municipality desiring to avail itself of the provisions of the Mississippi Election Code regarding the duties of municipal election commissioners shall adopt an ordinance declaring its intention to enter into an agreement with the municipality’s county to have the county election commissioners conduct municipal elections and other functions that are performed by municipal election commissioners for the benefit of the efficiency and conformity of elections, to be effective on and after a date fixed in the ordinance which must be at least thirty (30) days after the ordinance is adopted and on the first day of a month. If the municipality is located in more than one (1) county, the municipality shall choose which county it wants to conduct its elections and other duties of its municipal election commissioners and enter into an agreement with that county to have that county’s election commissioners conduct the municipal elections and other functions that are performed by municipal election commissioners for the benefit of the efficiency and conformity of elections, to be effective on and after a date fixed in the ordinance which must be at least thirty (30) days after the ordinance is adopted and on the first day of a month. A certified copy of this ordinance shall be immediately forwarded to the Chair of the State Board of Election Commissioners. The municipal authorities shall have a copy of the ordinance published once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in at least one (1) newspaper published in the municipality and having a general circulation therein. The first publication shall be not less than twenty-eight (28) days before the effective date fixed in the ordinance, and the last publication shall be made not less than seven (7) days before such date. If no newspaper is published in the municipality, then notice shall be given by publishing the ordinance for the required time in some newspaper published in the same or an adjoining county having a general circulation in the municipality. A copy of the ordinance shall also be posted at three (3) public places in the municipality for a period of at least twenty-one (21) days during the time of its publication in a newspaper. The publication of the ordinance may be made as provided in Section 21-17-19. Proof of publication must also be furnished to the Chair of the State Board of Election Commissioners.
(3) If a city council or board of aldermen or other governing authority of any municipality adopts an ordinance to abolish municipal election commissioners in the municipality’s county and authorize county election commissioners to conduct the municipal election commissioners’ duties, the county election commissioners shall conduct all of the duties of the municipal election commissioners including, but not limited to:

(a) Canvass the results of bond elections in a municipality;
(b) Canvass the returns of special and general elections for mayor and councilmen and within five (5) days after any special or general election, deliver to each person receiving the highest number of votes a certificate of election;
(c) Certify to the Secretary of State the name or names of the person or persons elected at special and general elections within ten (10) days after any special or general election;
(d) Revise the primary pollbooks for municipalities at the time and in the manner and in accordance with the laws now fixed and in force for revising pollbooks, except they shall not remove from the pollbook any person who is qualified to participate in primary elections;
(e) Print the pollbooks that are to be used in municipal elections;
(f) Print and distribute the “official ballots”;
(g) Perform the duties of poll managers in the event there is only one (1) election precinct in the municipality;
(h) Perform any of the duties required of the municipal executive committee pursuant to Section 23-15-239 if the municipal executive committee has entered into a written agreement with the municipal clerk or the municipal or county election commission that gives such authorization;
(i) Determine whether each party candidate in the municipal general election is a qualified elector of the municipality, and of the ward if the office sought is a ward office, whether each candidate either meets all other qualifications to hold the office he or she is seeking or presents absolute proof that he or she will, subject to no contingencies, meet all qualifications on or before the date of the general or special election at which he or she could be elected to office, and whether any candidate has been convicted of any felony in a court of this state, or has been convicted on or after December 8, 1992, of any offense in another state which is a felony under the laws of this state, or has been convicted of any felony in a federal court on or after December 8, 1992;
(j) Declare each candidate elected without opposition, if the candidate meets all the qualifications to hold the office as determined pursuant to a review by the commission in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (i) of this subsection (3);
(k) Canvass the returns for municipal elections received from all voting precincts and within ten (10) days after the election, deliver to each person receiving the highest number of votes a certificate of election. If it shall appear that any two (2) or more of the candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall have received an equal number of votes, the election shall be decided by the toss of a coin or by lot, fairly and publicly drawn by the election commissioners;
(l) Transmit the statement provided in Section 23-15-611 to the Secretary of State certifying the name or names of the person or persons elected at municipal elections, and such person or persons shall be issued commissions by the Governor;
(m) Receiving the filed document by any person desiring to contest the qualifications of another person who has qualified pursuant to the provisions of Section 23-15-361 as a candidate for municipal office elected on the date designated by law for regular municipal elections that specifically sets forth the grounds of the challenge no later than thirty-one (31) days after the date of the first primary election set forth in Section 23-15-309; and
(n) Perform all other duties with respect to the municipal election prescribed by law.

(4) If the city council or board of aldermen or other governing authority of any municipality does not desire to avail itself of the provisions of the Mississippi Election Code regarding the duties of municipal election commissioners, then nothing in this section shall be construed in any way to affect, alter or modify the existence of those municipal election commissioners now operating under the laws relating to municipal election commissioners provided in the Mississippi Code of 1972. Those municipalities shall continue to enjoy the form of election commissions and the conduct of the respective elections that are now enjoyed by them, and each shall possess all rights, powers, privileges and immunities granted and conferred under the laws relating to municipal election commissioners provided in the Mississippi Code of 1972.

 

§ 23-15-223. County registrar shall be circuit court clerk unless found improper; appointment of deputy registrars; liability of registrar for malfeasance or nonfeasance of deputy registrar; computer skills training course.

(1) The State Board of Election Commissioners, on or before the fifteenth day of February succeeding each general election, shall appoint in the several counties registrars of elections, who shall hold office for four (4) years and until their successors shall be duly qualified. The county registrar shall be the clerk of the circuit court, unless the State Board of Election Commissioners finds the circuit clerk to be an improper person to register the names of the electors in the county. The State Board of Election Commissioners shall draft rules and regulations to provide for notice and hearing before removal of the circuit clerk, if notice and a hearing is practicable under the circumstances.
(2) The county registrar is empowered to appoint deputy registrars, with the consent of the board of election commissioners, who may discharge the duties of the registrar.
The clerk of every municipality shall be appointed as such a deputy registrar, as contemplated by the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).
(3) The county registrar shall not be held liable for any malfeasance or nonfeasance in office by any deputy registrar who is a deputy registrar by virtue of his or her office.
(4) The Secretary of State, in conjunction with the State Board of Community and Junior Colleges, has developed and made available online a computer skills training course for all newly appointed registrars that shall be completed within one hundred eighty (180) days of the commencement of their term of office.

§ 23-15-225. Compensation of registrars.

(1) The registrar shall be entitled to such compensation, payable monthly out of the county treasury, which the board of supervisors of the county shall allow on an annual basis in the following amounts:

(a) For counties with a total population of more than two hundred thousand (200,000), an amount not to exceed Twenty-nine Thousand Nine Hundred Dollars ($29,900.00), but not less than Nine Thousand Two Hundred Dollars ($9,200.00).
(b) For counties with a total population of more than one hundred thousand (100,000) and not more than two hundred thousand (200,000), an amount not to exceed Twenty-five Thousand Three Hundred Dollars ($25,300.00), but not less than Nine Thousand Two Hundred Dollars ($9,200.00).
(c) For counties with a total population of more than fifty thousand (50,000) and not more than one hundred thousand (100,000), an amount not to exceed Twenty-three Thousand Dollars ($23,000.00), but not less than Nine Thousand Two Hundred Dollars ($9,200.00).
(d) For counties with a total population of more than thirty-five thousand (35,000) and not more than fifty thousand (50,000), an amount not to exceed Twenty Thousand Seven Hundred Dollars ($20,700.00), but not less than Nine Thousand Two Hundred Dollars ($9,200.00).
(e) For counties with a total population of more than twenty-five thousand (25,000) and not more than thirty-five thousand (35,000), an amount not to exceed Eighteen Thousand Four Hundred Dollars ($18,400.00), but not less than Nine Thousand Two Hundred Dollars ($9,200.00).
(f) For counties with a total population of more than fifteen thousand (15,000) and not more than twenty-five thousand (25,000), an amount not to exceed Sixteen Thousand One Hundred Dollars ($16,100.00), but not less than Nine Thousand Two Hundred Dollars ($9,200.00).
(g) For counties with a total population of more than ten thousand (10,000) and not more than fifteen thousand (15,000), an amount not to exceed Thirteen Thousand Eight Hundred Dollars ($13,800.00), but not less than Eight Thousand Fifty Dollars ($8,050.00).
(h) For counties with a total population of more than six thousand (6,000) and not more than ten thousand (10,000), an amount not to exceed Eleven Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($11,500.00), but not less than Eight Thousand Fifty Dollars ($8,050.00).
(i) For counties with a total population of not more than six thousand (6,000), an amount not to exceed Nine Thousand Two Hundred Dollars ($9,200.00) but not less than Six Thousand Three Hundred Twenty-five Dollars ($6,325.00).
(j) For counties having two (2) judicial districts, the board of supervisors of the county may allow, in addition to the sums prescribed herein, in its discretion, an amount not to exceed Eleven Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($11,500.00).

(2) In the event of a reregistration within such county, or a redistricting that necessitates the hiring of additional deputy registrars, the board of supervisors, in its discretion, may by contract compensate the county registrar amounts in addition to the sums prescribed herein.
(3) As compensation for their services in assisting the county election commissioners in performance of their duties in the revision of the voter roll as electronically maintained by the Statewide Elections Management System and in assisting the election commissioners, executive committees or boards of supervisors in connection with any election, the registrar shall receive the same daily per diem and limitation on meeting days as provided for the board of election commissioners as set out in Sections 23-15-153 and 23-15-227 to be paid from the general fund of the county.
(4) In any case where an amount has been allowed by the board of supervisors pursuant to this section, such amount shall not be reduced or terminated during the term for which the registrar was elected.
(5) The circuit clerk shall, in addition to any other compensation provided for by law, be entitled to receive as compensation from the board of supervisors the amount of Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) per year. This payment shall be for the performance of his or her duties in regard to the conduct of elections and the performance of his or her other duties.
(6) The municipal clerk shall, in addition to any other compensation for performance of duties, be eligible to receive as compensation from the municipality’s governing authorities a reasonable amount of additional compensation for reimbursement of costs and for additional duties associated with mail-in registration of voters.
(7) The board of supervisors shall not allow any additional compensation authorized under this section for services as county registrar to any circuit clerk who is receiving fees as compensation for his or her services equal to the limitation on compensation prescribed in Section 9-1-43.

 

§ 23-15-227. Compensation of poll managers.

(1) The poll managers shall be each entitled to Seventy-five Dollars ($75.00) for each election; however, the board of supervisors may, in its discretion, pay the poll managers an additional amount not to exceed Fifty Dollars ($50.00) per election.
(2) The poll manager who shall carry to the place of voting, away from the courthouse, the official ballots, ballot boxes, pollbooks and other necessities, shall be allowed Ten Dollars ($10.00) for each voting precinct for so doing. The poll manager who acts as returning officer shall be allowed Ten Dollars ($10.00) for each voting precinct for that service. If a person who performs the duties described in this subsection uses a privately owned motor vehicle to perform them, he or she shall receive for each mile actually and necessarily traveled in excess of ten (10) miles, the mileage reimbursement rate allowable to federal employees for the use of a privately owned vehicle while on official travel.
(3) The compensation authorized in this section shall be allowed by the board of supervisors, and shall be payable out of the county treasury.
(4) The compensation provided in this section shall constitute payment in full for the services rendered by the persons named for any election, whether there be one (1) election or issue voted upon, or more than one (1) election or issue voted upon at the same time.

 

§ 23-15-229. Compensation of municipal poll managers and other workers.

The compensation for poll managers and other workers in the polling places of a municipality shall be the same as the compensation paid by the county for those services; provided, however, that the governing authorities of a municipality shall not be required to pay any additional compensation authorized by the board of supervisors. The governing authorities of a municipality may, in their discretion, pay clerks and poll managers in the polling places of the municipality an additional amount of compensation not to exceed Fifty Dollars ($50.00) per election.

§ 23-15-231. Appointment of poll managers; designation of bailiff.

Before every election, the election commissioners shall appoint three (3) persons for each voting precinct to be poll managers, one (1) of whom shall be designated by the election commissioners as election bailiff. For general and special elections, the poll managers shall not all be of the same political party if suitable persons of different political parties can be found in the district. If any person appointed shall fail to attend and serve, the poll managers present, if any, may designate someone to fill his or her place; and if the election commissioners fail to make the appointments or in case of the failure of all those appointed to attend and serve, any three (3) qualified electors present when the polls should be opened may act as poll managers. Provided, however, any person appointed to be poll manager or act as poll manager shall be a qualified elector of the county in which the polling place is located.

 

§ 23-15-233. Duties of poll managers.

The poll managers shall take care that the election is conducted fairly and agreeably to law, and they shall be judges of the qualifications of electors, and may examine, on oath, any person duly registered and offering to vote touching his or her qualifications as an elector, which oath any of the poll managers may administer.

§ 23-15-235. Appointment of additional poll managers.

In addition to the poll managers appointed pursuant to Section 23-15-231, for the first five hundred (500) registered voters in each voting precinct, the election commissioners may, in their discretion, appoint not more than three (3) persons to serve as poll managers of the election. The election commissioners may, in their discretion, appoint three (3) additional persons to serve as poll managers for each one thousand (1,000) registered voters or fraction thereof in each voting precinct above the first five hundred (500), not to exceed six (6) additional poll managers under this section. Any person appointed as poll manager shall be a qualified elector of the county in which the voting precinct is located.

 

§ 23-15-237. Oath of office for poll managers.

The poll managers shall be sworn by some officer present competent to administer oaths, or each may be sworn by one of the others, faithfully to perform their duties at the election according to law, and not to attempt to guide, aid, direct or influence any voter in the exercise of his or her right to vote, except as expressly allowed by law. The oath required by this section shall be recorded in the receipt book and signed by each poll manager.

 

§ 23-15-239. Mandatory training of poll managers; single, comprehensive poll manager training program; certified poll managers.

[Until January 1, 2020, this section shall read as follows:]
(1) The executive committee of each county, in the case of a primary election, or the election commissioners of each county, in the case of all other elections, in conjunction with the circuit clerk, shall, in the years in which counties conduct an election, sponsor and conduct, not less than five (5) days before each election, not less than four (4) hours and not more than eight (8) hours of poll manager training to instruct poll managers as to their duties in the proper administration of the election and the operation of the polling place. Any poll manager who completes the online training course provided by the Secretary of State shall only be required to complete two (2) hours of in-person poll manager training. No poll manager shall serve in any election unless he or she has received these instructions once during the twelve (12) months immediately preceding the date upon which the election is held; however, nothing in this section shall prevent the appointment of an alternate poll manager to fill a vacancy in case of an emergency. The county executive committee or the election commissioners, as appropriate, shall train a sufficient number of alternates to serve in the event a poll manager is unable to serve for any reason.
(2)

(a) If it is eligible under Section 23-15-266, the county executive committee may enter into a written agreement with the circuit clerk or the county election commission authorizing the circuit clerk or the county election commission to perform any of the duties required of the county executive committee pursuant to this section. Any agreement entered into pursuant to this subsection shall be signed by the chair of the county executive committee and the circuit clerk or the chair of the county election commission, as appropriate. The county executive committee shall notify the state executive committee and the Secretary of State of the existence of the agreement.
(b) If it is eligible under Section 23-15-266, the municipal executive committee may enter into a written agreement with the municipal clerk or the municipal election commission authorizing the municipal clerk or the municipal election commission to perform any of the duties required of the municipal executive committee pursuant to this section. Any agreement entered into pursuant to this subsection shall be signed by the chair of the municipal executive committee and the municipal clerk or the chair of the municipal election commission, as appropriate. The municipal executive committee shall notify the state executive committee and the Secretary of State of the existence of the agreement.

(3) The board of supervisors and the municipal governing authority, in their discretion, may compensate poll managers who attend these training sessions. The compensation shall be at a rate of not less than the federal hourly minimum wage nor more than Twelve Dollars ($12.00) per hour. Poll managers shall not be compensated for more than sixteen (16) hours of attendance at the training sessions regardless of the actual amount of time that they attended the training sessions.
(4) The time and location of the training sessions required pursuant to this section shall be announced to the general public by posting a notice thereof at the courthouse and by delivering a copy of the notice to the office of a newspaper having general circulation in the county five (5) days before the date upon which the training session is to be conducted. Persons who will serve as poll watchers for candidates and political parties, as well as members of the general public, shall be allowed to attend the sessions.
(5) Subject to the following annual limitations, the election commissioners shall be entitled to receive a per diem in the amount of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), to be paid from the county general fund, for every day or period of no less than five (5) hours accumulated over two (2) or more days actually employed in the performance of their duties for the necessary time spent in conducting training sessions as required by this section:

(a) In counties having less than fifteen thousand (15,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than five (5) days per year;
(b) In counties having fifteen thousand (15,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than thirty thousand (30,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than eight (8) days per year;
(c) In counties having thirty thousand (30,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than seventy thousand (70,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than ten (10) days per year;
(d) In counties having seventy thousand (70,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than ninety thousand (90,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than twelve (12) days per year;
(e) In counties having ninety thousand (90,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than one hundred seventy thousand (170,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than fifteen (15) days per year;
(f) In counties having one hundred seventy thousand (170,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than two hundred thousand (200,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than eighteen (18) days per year;
(g) In counties having two hundred thousand (200,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than two hundred twenty-five thousand (225,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than nineteen (19) days per year;
(h) In counties having two hundred twenty-five thousand (225,000) residents or more according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than twenty-two (22) days per year.

(6) Election commissioners shall claim the per diem authorized in subsection (5) of this section in the manner provided for in Section 23-15-153(6).
(7)

(a) To provide poll manager training, the Secretary of State has developed a single, comprehensive poll manager training program to ensure uniform, secure elections throughout the state. The program includes online training on all state and federal election laws and procedures and voting machine opening and closing procedures.
(b) County election commissioners shall designate no more than two (2) poll managers per precinct, who shall individually access and complete the online training program, including all skills assessments, at least five (5) days before an election. The poll managers shall be defined as “certified poll managers,” and entitled to a “Certificate of Completion” and compensation for the successful completion of the training and skills assessment in the amount of Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) payable from the Help Mississippi Vote Fund. Compensation paid to any poll manager under this paragraph (b) shall not exceed Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) per calendar year.
(c) Every election held after January 1, 2018, shall have at least one (1) certified poll manager appointed by the county election officials to work in each polling place in the county during each general election.

[From and after January 1, 2020, this section shall read as follows:]
(1) The executive committee of each county, in the case of a primary election, or the election commissioners of each county, in the case of all other elections, in conjunction with the circuit clerk, shall, in the years in which counties conduct an election, sponsor and conduct, not less than five (5) days before each election, not less than four (4) hours and not more than eight (8) hours of poll manager training to instruct poll managers as to their duties in the proper administration of the election and the operation of the polling place. Any poll manager who completes the online training course provided by the Secretary of State shall only be required to complete two (2) hours of in-person poll manager training. No poll manager shall serve in any election unless he or she has received these instructions once during the twelve (12) months immediately preceding the date upon which the election is held; however, nothing in this section shall prevent the appointment of an alternate poll manager to fill a vacancy in case of an emergency. The county executive committee or the election commissioners, as appropriate, shall train a sufficient number of alternates to serve in the event a poll manager is unable to serve for any reason.
(2)

(a) If it is eligible under Section 23-15-266, the county executive committee may enter into a written agreement with the circuit clerk or the county election commission authorizing the circuit clerk or the county election commission to perform any of the duties required of the county executive committee pursuant to this section. Any agreement entered into pursuant to this subsection shall be signed by the chair of the county executive committee and the circuit clerk or the chair of the county election commission, as appropriate. The county executive committee shall notify the state executive committee and the Secretary of State of the existence of the agreement.
(b) If it is eligible under Section 23-15-266, the municipal executive committee may enter into a written agreement with the municipal clerk or the municipal election commission authorizing the municipal clerk or the municipal election commission to perform any of the duties required of the municipal executive committee pursuant to this section. Any agreement entered into pursuant to this subsection shall be signed by the chair of the municipal executive committee and the municipal clerk or the chair of the municipal election commission, as appropriate. The municipal executive committee shall notify the state executive committee and the Secretary of State of the existence of the agreement.

(3) The board of supervisors and the municipal governing authority, in their discretion, may compensate poll managers who attend these training sessions. The compensation shall be at a rate of not less than the federal hourly minimum wage nor more than Twelve Dollars ($12.00) per hour. Poll managers shall not be compensated for more than sixteen (16) hours of attendance at the training sessions regardless of the actual amount of time that they attended the training sessions.
(4) The time and location of the training sessions required pursuant to this section shall be announced to the general public by posting a notice thereof at the courthouse and by delivering a copy of the notice to the office of a newspaper having general circulation in the county five (5) days before the date upon which the training session is to be conducted. Persons who will serve as poll watchers for candidates and political parties, as well as members of the general public, shall be allowed to attend the sessions.
(5) Subject to the following annual limitations, the election commissioners shall be entitled to receive a per diem in the amount of Eighty-four Dollars ($84.00), to be paid from the county general fund, for every day or period of no less than five (5) hours accumulated over two (2) or more days actually employed in the performance of their duties for the necessary time spent in conducting training sessions as required by this section:

(a) In counties having less than fifteen thousand (15,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than five (5) days per year;
(b) In counties having fifteen thousand (15,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than thirty thousand (30,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than eight (8) days per year;
(c) In counties having thirty thousand (30,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than seventy thousand (70,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than ten (10) days per year;
(d) In counties having seventy thousand (70,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than ninety thousand (90,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than twelve (12) days per year;
(e) In counties having ninety thousand (90,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than one hundred seventy thousand (170,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than fifteen (15) days per year;
(f) In counties having one hundred seventy thousand (170,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than two hundred thousand (200,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than eighteen (18) days per year;
(g) In counties having two hundred thousand (200,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than two hundred twenty-five thousand (225,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than nineteen (19) days per year;
(h) In counties having two hundred twenty-five thousand (225,000) residents or more according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than twenty-two (22) days per year;

(6) Election commissioners shall claim the per diem authorized in subsection (5) of this section in the manner provided for in Section 23-15-153(6).
(7)

(a) To provide poll manager training, the Secretary of State has developed a single, comprehensive poll manager training program to ensure uniform, secure elections throughout the state. The program includes online training on all state and federal election laws and procedures and voting machine opening and closing procedures.
(b) County poll managers who individually access and complete the online training program, including all skills assessments, at least five (5) days before an election shall be defined as “certified poll manager,” and entitled to a “Certificate of Completion.”
(c) At least one (1) certified poll manager shall be appointed by the county election officials to work in each polling place in the county during each general election.

 

§ 23-15-240. Appointment of student interns to serve during elections.

(1) The officials in charge of the election in a county or municipality may, in their discretion, appoint not more than two (2) students for each precinct to serve as student interns during elections. To be appointed a student intern a student must:

(a) Be recommended by a principal or other school official, or the person responsible for the student’s legitimate home instruction program;
(b) Be at least sixteen (16) years of age at the time of the election for which the appointment is made;
(c) Be a resident of the county or municipality for which the appointment is made;
(d) Be enrolled in a public high school, an accredited private high school or a legitimate home instruction program and be classified as a junior or senior or its equivalent, or be enrolled in a junior college or a college or university; and
(e) Meet any additional qualifications considered necessary by the officials in charge of the election in the county or municipality.

(2)

(a) The duties of the student interns appointed pursuant to this section shall be determined by the officials in charge of the election in the county or municipality; however, the duties shall not include:

(i) Determining the qualifications of a voter in case a voter is challenged;
(ii) The discharge of any duties related to affidavit ballots;
(iii) The operation and maintenance of any voting equipment;
(iv) Any duties normally assigned to a bailiff; or
(v) The tallying of votes.

(b) Student interns shall at all times be under the supervision of the poll managers of the election while performing their duties at precincts.

(3) Before performing any duties, student interns shall attend all required training for poll managers of the county or municipality and any additional training considered necessary by the officials in charge of the election in the county or municipality.
(4) As used in this section “officials in charge of the election” means the county or municipal executive committee, as appropriate, in primary elections and the county or municipal election commission, as appropriate, in all other elections.

 

§ 23-15-241. Election bailiff to keep peace.

The poll manager designated an election bailiff shall, in addition to his or her other duties, be present during the election to keep the peace and to protect the voting place, and to prevent improper intrusion upon the voting place or interference with the election, and to arrest all persons creating any disturbance about the voting place, and to enable all qualified electors who have not voted, and who desire to vote, to have unobstructed access to the polls for the purpose of voting when others are not voting.

 

§ 23-15-243. Selection of election bailiff if none designated.

If the election commissioners fail to designate a poll manager as the bailiff, or if their designee fails to serve, the poll managers may select an election bailiff from among their number.

 

§ 23-15-245. Duties of election bailiff; polls to be open and clear.

It shall be the duty of the poll manager designated as bailiff to be present at the voting place, and to take such steps as will accomplish the purpose of his or her appointment, and the poll manager designated as bailiff shall have full power to do so and may summon to his or her aid all persons present at the voting place. A space thirty (30) feet in every direction from the polls, or the room in which the election is held, shall be kept open and clear of all persons except the election officials, individuals present to vote and credentialed poll watchers as defined by Section 23-15-577. The electors shall approach the polls from one (1) direction, line, door or passage, and depart in another as nearly opposite as convenient.

 

§ 23-15-247. Ballot boxes.

The election commissioners in each county shall procure, if not already provided, a sufficient number of ballot boxes, which shall be distributed by them to the voting precincts of the county before the time for opening the polls. The boxes shall be securely sealed from the opening of the polls on election day until the polls close on election day; and the box shall be kept by one (1) of the managers, and the manager having the box shall carefully keep it, and neither open it himself or herself nor permit it to be opened, nor permit any person to have any access to it throughout the voting period during an election. The box shall not be removed from the polling building or place after the polls are opened until the polls close and the count is complete. After each election the ballot boxes shall be delivered to the clerk of the circuit court of the county for preservation; and he or she shall keep them for future use, and, when called for, deliver them to the election commissioners.

 

§ 23-15-249. Procedure when pollbooks or ballot boxes not distributed.

The failure to distribute to the different voting places the pollbooks containing the alphabetical list of voters, or the ballot boxes provided for, shall not prevent the holding of an election, but in such case the poll managers shall proceed to hold the election without the books and ballot boxes, and shall provide some suitable substitute for the ballot boxes, and conform as nearly as possible to the law in the reception and disposition of the official ballots.

§ 23-15-251. Duties of poll manager designated to receive and distribute ballots.

The election commissioners, in appointing the poll managers of an election, shall designate one (1) of the poll managers at each voting place to receive and distribute the official ballots, and shall deliver to him or her the proper number of ballots for his or her district not less than one (1) day before the election; and the poll manager receiving the ballots from the election commissioners shall distribute the same to the electors of his or her district in the manner herein provided. It shall be the duty of the designated poll manager for service at a voting place other than the courthouse, to carry to that voting place, on the day before the election, or before 6:00 a.m. on the morning of the election, the ballot box, the pollbook, the blank tally sheets, the blank forms to be used in making returns, the other necessary stationery and supplies and the official printed ballots aforesaid, and all of the same used and unused shall be returned by the designated poll manager to the election commissioners on the day next following the election.

 

§ 23-15-253. Poll managers to be furnished stationery and blank forms.

The election commissioners shall furnish to the poll managers at each voting place a sufficient quantity of stationery for use in holding the election, and also blank forms to be used in making returns of the election, including the precinct opening and closing log, the election ballot account form and the electronic vote tally worksheet provided by the Secretary of State’s office.

 

§ 23-15-255. Voting compartments, shelves and tables; information required to be posted at precinct polling place on election day.

(1) The supervisor of each respective supervisors district shall provide at each election place a sufficient number of voting compartments, shelves and tables for the use of electors, which shall be so arranged that it will be impossible for a voter in one (1) compartment to see another voter who is preparing his or her ballot. The number of voting compartments and shelves or tables shall not be less than one (1) to every two hundred (200) electors in the voting precinct.
(2) The poll managers of each precinct shall publicly post the following information at the precinct polling place on the day of any election:

(a) A sample ballot that will be used at the election;
(b) The hours during which the polling places will be open;
(c) Instructions on how to vote, including how to cast a vote and how to cast an affidavit ballot;
(d) Instructions for persons who have registered to vote by mail and first time voters, if appropriate;
(e) General information on voting rights, including information on the right of an individual to cast an affidavit ballot and instructions on how to contact the appropriate officials if these rights are alleged to have been violated; and
(f) The consequences under federal and state laws regarding fraud and misrepresentation;
(g) A list of voters in each polling place that have already cast an absentee ballot; and
(h) The acceptable forms of photo identification that may be presented in the polling place.

 

§ 23-15-257. Duties of marshal or chief of police in municipal elections.

The marshal or chief of police shall perform, in respect to the municipal elections, all the duties prescribed by law to be performed by the board of supervisors in reference to furnishing voting compartments for state and county elections.

§ 23-15-259. Authority of boards of supervisors to allow compensation of officers rendering services in registration and elections and reasonable sum to supply voting compartments, tables and shelves.

The boards of supervisors of the several counties are authorized to allow compensation of the officers rendering services in matters of registration and elections, to provide ballot boxes, voter rolls as electronically maintained by the Statewide Elections Management System, and all other things required by law in registration and elections. The boards are also authorized, by order spread upon the minutes of the board setting forth the cost and source of funds therefor, to allow such reasonable sum as may be expended in supplying voting compartments, tables or shelves for use at elections.

 

§ 23-15-261. Certification of service as poll managers.

The election commissioners shall, after each election, make out a list of all persons who served as poll managers at the election, designating for what service each is entitled to pay, certify to the correctness of the same, and file it with the clerk of the board of supervisors. An allowance shall not be made to any such officer unless his or her service be so certified.

 

§ 23-15-263. Duties of county executive committees at primary elections.

(1) Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, the county executive committee at primary elections shall perform all duties that relate to the qualification of candidates for primary elections, print ballots for primary elections, appoint the primary election officers, resolve contests in regard to primary elections, and perform all other duties required by law to be performed by the county executive committee; however, each house of the Legislature shall rule on the qualifications of the membership of its respective body in contests involving the qualifications of such members. The executive committee shall be subject to all the penalties to which county election commissioners are subject, except that Section 23-15-217 shall not apply to members of the county executive committee who seek elective office.
(2) A member of a county executive committee shall be automatically disqualified to serve on the county executive committee, and shall be considered to have resigned therefrom, upon his qualification as a candidate for any elective office. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to a member of a county executive committee who qualifies as a candidate for a municipal elective office.
(3) The primary election officers appointed by the executive committee of the party shall have the powers and perform the duties, where not otherwise provided, required of such officers in a general election, and any and every act or omission which by law is an offense when committed in or about or in respect to such general elections, shall be an offense if committed in or about or in respect to a primary election; and the same shall be indictable and punishable in the same way as if the election was a general election for the election of state and county officers, except as specially modified or otherwise provided in this chapter.

 

§ 23-15-265. Meeting of county executive committee; appointment of poll managers by committee.

(1) The county executive committee of each county shall meet not less than two (2) weeks before the date of any primary election and appoint the poll managers for same, all of whom may be members of the same political party. The number of poll managers appointed by the county executive committee shall be the same number as election commissioners are allowed to appoint pursuant to Sections 23-15-231 and 23-15-235. If the county executive committee fails to meet on the date named, supra, further notice shall be given of the time and place of meeting.
(2)

(a) If it is eligible under Section 23-15-266, the county executive committee may enter into a written agreement with the circuit clerk or the county election commission authorizing the circuit clerk or the county election commission to perform any of the duties required of the county executive committee pursuant to this section. Any agreement entered into pursuant to this subsection shall be signed by the chair of the county executive committee and the circuit clerk or the chair of the county election commission, as appropriate. The county executive committee shall notify the state executive committee and the Secretary of State of the existence of the agreement.
(b) If it is eligible under Section 23-15-266, the municipal executive committee may enter into a written agreement with the municipal clerk or the municipal election commission authorizing the municipal clerk or the municipal election commission to perform any of the duties required of the municipal executive committee pursuant to this section. Any agreement entered into pursuant to this subsection shall be signed by the chair of the municipal executive committee and the municipal clerk or the chair of the municipal election commission, as appropriate. The municipal executive committee shall notify the state executive committee and the Secretary of State of the existence of such agreement.

 

§ 23-15-266. Executive committee authorized to enter into agreements regarding conduct of elections if certain criteria met.

A county or municipal executive committee shall be eligible to enter into written agreements with a circuit or municipal clerk or a county or municipal election commission as provided for in Section 23-15-239(2), 23-15-265(2), 23-15-267(4), 23-15-333(4), 23-15-335(2) or 23-15-597(2), only if the political party with which such county or municipal executive committee is affiliated:

(a) Has cast for its candidate for Governor in the last two (2) gubernatorial elections ten percent (10%) of the total vote cast for governor; or
(b) Has cast for its candidate for Governor in three (3) of the last five (5) gubernatorial elections twenty-five percent (25%) of the total vote cast for Governor.

§ 23-15-267. Primary election ballot boxes; penalty for failure to deliver ballot boxes.

(1) The ballot boxes provided by the election commissioners in each county shall be used in primary elections, and the county executive committees shall distribute them to the voting precincts of the county before the time for opening the polls, in the same manner, as near as may be, as that provided for in general elections.
(2) The boxes shall be securely sealed and locked beginning at the start of voting on election day until the end of voting on election day; and the box shall be kept by one (1) of the poll managers, and the poll manager having the box shall carefully keep it, and neither open it himself or herself nor permit it to be done, nor permit any person to have any access to it throughout voting during election day. The box shall not be removed from the polling place after the polls are open until the polls close and the count is completed.
(3) After each election, the ballot boxes shall be delivered to the clerk of the circuit court of the county for preservation; and he or she shall keep them for future use, and, when called for, deliver them to the election commissioners.
(4)

(a) If it is eligible under Section 23-15-266, the county executive committee may enter into a written agreement with the circuit clerk or the county election commission authorizing the circuit clerk or the county election commission to perform any of the duties required of the county executive committee pursuant to this section. Any agreement entered into pursuant to this subsection shall be signed by the chair of the county executive committee and the circuit clerk or the chair of the county election commission, as appropriate. The county executive committee shall notify the State Executive Committee and the Secretary of State of the existence of such agreement.
(b) If it is eligible under Section 23-15-266, the municipal executive committee may enter into a written agreement with the municipal clerk or the municipal election commission authorizing the municipal clerk or the municipal election commission to perform any of the duties required of the municipal executive committee pursuant to this section. Any agreement entered into pursuant to this subsection shall be signed by the chair of the municipal executive committee and the municipal clerk or the chair of the municipal election commission, as appropriate. The municipal executive committee shall notify the State Executive Committee and the Secretary of State of the existence of such agreement.

(5) The person, or persons, whose duty it is to comply with the provisions of this section and who shall fail, or neglect, from any cause, to deliver the boxes or any of them as herein provided shall, upon conviction, be fined not less than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) and be imprisoned in the county jail of the residence of the person, or persons, who violates any of the provisions of this section, for a period of not less than thirty (30) days or more than six (6) months, and fined not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00).

 

§ 23-15-269. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 441, § 193, effective on or before July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-269. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-5-161 [Codes, 1892, § 3669; 1906, § 4176; Hemingway’s 1917, § 6810; 1930, § 6246; 1942, § 3275; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 335]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 83, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]

§ 23-15-271. Election integrity assurance committee.

(1) The state executive committee of any political party authorized to conduct political party primaries shall form an election integrity assurance committee for each congressional district. The state executive committee shall appoint three (3) of its members to each congressional district election integrity assurance committee. The members so appointed shall be residents of the congressional district for which the election integrity assurance committee is formed. The state executive committee shall name a chair and a secretary from among the members of each committee. The state executive committee shall provide to each circuit and municipal clerk a list of the members of the congressional district integrity assurance committee for the congressional district in which the county or municipality of the clerk is located.
(2) If within sixty (60) days of an election, a county executive committee or a municipal executive committee fails to attend training or perform in a timely manner any of the duties specified in Sections 23-15-239, 23-15-265, 23-15-267, 23-15-333, 23-15-335 and 23-15-597 and there is no written agreement in place between the county or municipal executive committee and the county or municipal election commission or the circuit or municipal clerk pursuant to such sections, or there is such an agreement in place and it is not being executed, the circuit or municipal clerk shall notify the chair and secretary of the congressional district election integrity assurance committee or the chair of the state executive committee of such failure and call upon them to take immediate and appropriate action to ensure that such duties are performed in order to secure the orderly conduct of the primary. Upon receiving the notice, the election integrity assurance committee shall be responsible for conducting any required training and shall be authorized to contract on behalf of the county or municipal executive committee with the county or municipal election commission or the circuit or municipal clerk for the conduct of the primary election.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the state executive committee or a congressional district election assurance committee to conduct primaries.

 

ARTICLE 9. SUPERVISOR’S DISTRICTS AND VOTING PRECINCTS

§ 23-15-281. Fixing supervisors districts, voting precincts and voting places; purchase of property and construction, repair, renovation, maintenance, etc. of polling places; availability of facilities for use as polling place.

(1) Each county shall be divided into supervisors districts, which shall be the same as those for the election of members of the board of supervisors, and may be subdivided thereafter into voting precincts; and there shall be only one (1) voting place in each voting precinct. Provided, however, that such boundaries, if altered, shall conform to visible natural or artificial boundaries such as streets, highways, railroads, rivers, lakes, bayous or other obvious lines of demarcation except county lines and municipal corporate limits. The board of supervisors shall notify the Office of the Secretary of State of the boundary of each supervisors district and voting precinct as then fixed and shall provide the office a legal description and a map of each supervisors district and voting precinct and shall indicate the voting place in each such district. The board of supervisors shall also ensure the legal description and map of each supervisors district is available in the circuit clerk’s office for public inspection.
(2) The board of supervisors is authorized, by order spread upon the minutes of the board setting forth the cost and source of funds therefor, to purchase improved or unimproved property and to construct, reconstruct, repair, renovate and maintain polling places, or to pay to private property owners reasonable rental fees when the property is used as a polling place for a period not to exceed the day immediately preceding the election, the day of the election, and the day immediately following the election. On or before May 1, 2019, the county board of supervisors shall ensure each polling place is accessible to all voters, structurally sound, capable of providing air conditioning and heating and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
(3) All facilities owned or leased by the state, county, municipality, or school district may be made available at no cost to the board of supervisors for use as polling places to such extent as may be agreed to by the authority having control or custody of these facilities.

 

§ 23-15-283. Alteration of boundaries.

(1) The board of supervisors shall have power to alter the boundaries of the supervisors districts, voting precincts and the voting place therein. If the board of supervisors orders a change in the boundaries, they shall notify the election commissioners, who shall at once cause the voter rolls as electronically maintained by the Statewide Elections Management System of voting precincts affected by the order to be changed to conform to the change so as to contain only the names of the qualified electors in the voting precincts as made by the change of boundaries. Upon the order of change in the boundaries of any voting precinct or the voting place therein, the board of supervisors shall notify the Office of the Secretary of State and provide the Office of the Secretary of State a legal description and a map of any boundary change. No change shall be implemented or enforced until the requirements of this section have been met.
(2) Only officials certified by the Secretary of State shall be authorized to implement boundary line changes in the Statewide Elections Management System. The training and certification required under this subsection (2) shall be available to the circuit clerk, county election commissioners or any other individual designated by the board of supervisors to be responsible for implementing boundary line changes into the Statewide Elections Management System.
(3) Any governmental entity authorized to adopt, amend or change boundary lines shall immediately forward all changed boundary lines to the appropriate circuit clerk, who shall, if authorized under subsection (2), implement the boundary line changes in the Statewide Elections Management System. If the circuit clerk is not the appropriate person to implement the boundary line changes, the clerk shall immediately forward a copy of all materials to the appropriate person. Copies of any boundary line changes within the county shall be maintained in the office of the circuit clerk and made available for public inspection. No change shall be implemented or enforced until the requirements of this section have been met.

 

§ 23-15-285. Entry of boundaries and alterations thereto on minutes of board of supervisors; limit on number of voters within each precinct or ballot box.

The board of supervisors shall cause an entry to be made on the minutes of the board at some meeting, as early as convenient, defining the boundaries of the several supervisors districts and voting precincts in the county, and designating the voting place in each voting precinct; and as soon as practicable after any change is made in any supervisors district, voting precinct or any voting place, the board of supervisors shall cause the change to be entered on the minutes of the board in such manner as to be easily understood. The changed boundaries shall conform to visible natural or artificial boundaries such as streets, highways, railroads, rivers, lakes, bayous or other obvious lines of demarcation, with the exception of county lines and municipal corporate limits.
No voting precinct shall have more than five hundred (500) qualified electors residing in its boundaries. Subject to the provisions of this section, each board of supervisors of the various counties of this state shall as soon as practical after January 1, 1987, alter or change the boundaries of the various voting precincts to comply herewith and shall from time to time make such changes in the boundaries of voting precincts so that there shall never be more than five hundred (500) qualified electors within the boundaries of the various voting precincts of this state; provided further, this limitation shall not apply to voting precincts that are so divided, alphabetically or otherwise, so as to have less than five hundred (500) qualified electors in any one (1) box within a voting precinct. However, the limitation of five hundred (500) qualified electors to the voting precinct shall not apply to voting precincts in which voting machines are used at all elections held in that voting precinct. No change in any supervisors district or voting precinct shall take effect less than thirty (30) days before the qualifying deadline for the office of county supervisor. Any change in any boundary of a supervisors district or voting precinct that is approved under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 less than thirty (30) days before such qualifying deadline shall be effective only for an election for county supervisor held in a year following the year in which such change is approved under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Provided, however, that, with the exception of county lines and municipal corporate limits, such altered boundaries shall conform to visible natural or artificial boundaries such as streets, highways, railroads, rivers, lakes, bayous or other obvious lines of demarcation.

 

ARTICLE 11. NOMINATIONS

§ 23-15-291. Nomination for state, district, county and county district office to be by primary election.

All nominations for state, district, county and county district officers made by the different parties of this state shall be made by primary elections. All primary elections shall be governed and regulated by the election laws of the state in force at the time the primary election is held.

 

§ 23-15-293. Voting for and nomination of candidates for state, state district and legislative offices by counties or parts of counties within the districts.

Candidates for state, state district and legislative offices shall be voted for and nominated by all the counties or parts of counties within their respective districts, and all the district nominations shall be under the supervision and control of the state executive committee of the respective political parties, which committees shall discharge in respect to such state district nominations all the powers and duties imposed upon them in connection with nominations of candidates for other state officers.

 

§ 23-15-295. Withdrawal of candidate.

When any person has qualified in the manner provided by law as a candidate for party nomination in any primary election, such person shall have the right to withdraw his or her name as a candidate by giving notice of his or her withdrawal in writing to the secretary of the proper executive committee at any time before the printing of the official ballots, and in the event of such withdrawal the name of the candidate shall not be printed on the ballot. When a candidate for party nomination for a state or district office who has qualified with the state executive committee withdraws as a candidate as is herein set forth after the sample of the official ballot has been approved and certified by the state executive committee the secretary or chair of the State Executive Committee shall forthwith notify the county executive committee of each county affected or involved of the fact of the withdrawal and such notification shall authorize the county executive committees to omit the name of the withdrawn candidate from the ballot if such notification is received before the printing of the ballot. In the case of the withdrawal of any candidate, the fee paid by the candidate shall be retained by the state or county executive committee, as the case may be.

 

§ 23-15-296. Written notification to Secretary of State.

All political parties registered with the Secretary of State shall notify the Secretary of State in writing within two (2) working days of each qualifying deadline of the name, mailing address and office sought of all candidates for statewide, state district and legislative office who have submitted qualifying papers to the political party on or before the qualifying deadline, and all political parties shall notify the Secretary of State of any such candidate who withdraws his candidacy within two (2) working days of receiving written notice of the withdrawal.

 

§ 23-15-297. Fee required to be paid upon entering race for party nomination.

All candidates upon entering the race for party nominations for office shall first pay to the proper officer as provided for in Section 23-15-299 for each primary election and all independent candidates and special election candidates shall pay to the proper officer as provided for in Section 23-15-299 the following amounts:

(a) Candidates for Governor, One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00).
(b) Candidates for Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Auditor of Public Accounts, Commissioner of Insurance, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, State Highway Commissioner and State Public Service Commissioner, Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00).
(c) Candidates for district attorney, State Senator and State Representative, Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00).
(d) Candidates for sheriff, chancery clerk, circuit clerk, tax assessor, tax collector, county attorney, county superintendent of education and board of supervisors, One Hundred Dollars ($100.00).
(e) Candidates for county surveyor, county coroner, justice court judge and constable, One Hundred Dollars ($100.00).
(f) Candidates for United States Senator, One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00).
(g) Candidates for United States Representative, Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00).

 

§ 23-15-299. Time for payment of fee; written statement to accompany fee; recordation and disbursement of fee; determination of candidate’s qualifications; declaration of nominee in single candidate race.

(1)

(a) Assessments made pursuant to paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of Section 23-15-297 shall be paid by each candidate who seeks a nomination in the political party election to the secretary of the state executive committee with which the candidate is affiliated by 5:00 p.m. on March 1 of the year in which the primary election for the office is held or on the date of the qualifying deadline provided by statute for the office, whichever is earlier; however, no such assessments may be paid before January 1 of the year in which the primary election for the office is held. If March 1 or the date of the qualifying deadline provided by statute for the office occurs on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, then the assessments required to be paid by this paragraph (1)(a) shall be paid by 5:00 p.m. on the business day immediately following the Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.
(b) Assessments made pursuant to paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of Section 23-15-297 shall be paid by each independent candidate or special election candidate to the Secretary of State by 5:00 p.m. on March 1 of the year in which the primary election for the office is held or on the date of the qualifying deadline provided by statute for the office, whichever is earlier; however, no such assessments may be paid before January 1 of the year in which the primary election for the office is held. If March 1 or the date of the qualifying deadline provided by statute for the office occurs on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, then the assessments required to be paid by this paragraph (1)(b) shall be paid by 5:00 p.m. on the business day immediately following the Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.

(2)

(a) Assessments made pursuant to paragraphs (d) and (e) of Section 23-15-297, shall be paid by each candidate who seeks a nomination in the political party election to the circuit clerk of that candidate’s county of residence by 5:00 p.m. on March 1 of the year in which the primary election for the office is held or on the date of the qualifying deadline provided by statute for the office, whichever is earlier; however, no such assessments may be paid before January 1 of the year in which the election for the office is held. If March 1 or the date of the qualifying deadline provided by statute for the office occurs on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, then the assessments required to be paid by this paragraph (2)(a) shall be paid by 5:00 p.m. on the business day immediately following the Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. The circuit clerk shall forward the fee and all necessary information to the secretary of the proper county executive committee within two (2) business days. No candidate may attempt to qualify with any political party that does not have a duly organized county executive committee, and the circuit clerk shall not accept any assessments paid for nonlegislative offices pursuant to paragraphs (d) and (e) of Section 23-15-297 if the circuit clerk does not have contact information for the secretary of the county executive committee for that political party.
(b) Assessments made pursuant to paragraphs (d) and (e) of Section 23-15-297 shall be paid by each independent candidate or special election candidate to the circuit clerk of that candidate’s county of residence by 5:00 p.m. on March 1 of the year in which the primary election for the office is held or on the date of the qualifying deadline provided by statute for the office, whichever is earlier; however, no such assessments may be paid before January 1 of the year in which the primary election for the office is held. If March 1 or the date of the qualifying deadline provided by statute for the office occurs on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, then the assessments required to be paid by this paragraph (2) (b) shall be paid by 5:00 p.m. on the business day immediately following the Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. The circuit clerk shall forward the fee and all necessary information to the secretary of the proper county election commission within two (2) business days.

(3)

(a) Assessments made pursuant to paragraphs (f) and (g) of Section 23-15-297 must be paid by each candidate who seeks a nomination in the political party election to the secretary of the state executive committee with which the candidate is affiliated by 5:00 p.m. sixty (60) days before the presidential preference primary in years in which a presidential preference primary is held; however, no such assessments may be paid before January 1 of the year in which the primary election for the office is held. Assessments made pursuant to paragraphs (f) and (g) of Section 23-15-297, in years when a presidential preference primary is not being held, shall be paid by each candidate who seeks a nomination in the political party election to the secretary of the state executive committee with which the candidate is affiliated by 5:00 p.m. on March 1 of the year in which the primary election for the office is held; however, no such assessments may be paid before January 1 of the year in which the primary election for the office is held. If sixty (60) days before the presidential preference primary in years in which a presidential preference primary is held, March 1, or the date of the qualifying deadline provided by statute for the office occurs on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, then the assessments required to be paid by this paragraph (3)(a) shall be paid by 5:00 p.m. on the business day immediately following the Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.
(b) Assessments made pursuant to paragraphs (f) and (g) of Section 23-15-297 must be paid by each independent candidate or special election candidate to the Secretary of State by 5:00 p.m. sixty (60) days before the presidential preference primary in years in which a presidential preference primary is held; however, no such assessments may be paid before January 1 of the year in which the primary election for the office is held. Assessments made pursuant to paragraphs (f) and (g) of Section 23-15-297, in years when a presidential preference primary is not being held, shall be paid by each independent candidate or special election candidate to the Secretary of State by 5:00 p.m. on March 1 of the year in which the primary election for the office is held; however, no such assessments may be paid before January 1 of the year in which the primary election for the office is held. If sixty (60) days before the presidential preference primary in years in which a presidential preference primary is held, March 1, or the date of the qualifying deadline provided by statute for the office occurs on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, then the assessments required to be paid by this paragraph (3)(b) shall be paid by 5:00 p.m. on the business day immediately following the Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.

(4)

(a) The fees paid pursuant to subsections (1), (2) and (3) of this section shall be accompanied by a written statement containing the name and address of the candidate, the party with which he or she is affiliated, if applicable, the email address of the candidate, if any, and the office for which he or she is a candidate.
(b) The state executive committee shall transmit to the Secretary of State a copy of the written statements accompanying the fees paid pursuant to subsections (1) and (2) of this section. All copies must be received by the Office of the Secretary of State by not later than 6:00 p.m. on the date of the qualifying deadline; provided, however, the failure of the Office of the Secretary of State to receive such copies by 6:00 p.m. on the date of the qualifying deadline shall not affect the qualification of a person who pays the required fee and files the required statement by 5:00 p.m. on the date of the qualifying deadline. The name of any person who pays the required fee and files the required statement after 5:00 p.m. on the date of the qualifying deadline shall not be placed on the primary election ballot or the general election ballot.

(5) The Secretary of State or the secretary or circuit clerk to whom such payments are made shall promptly receipt for same stating the office for which the candidate making payment is running and the political party with which he or she is affiliated, if applicable, and he or she shall keep an itemized account in detail showing the exact time and date of the receipt of each payment received by him or her and, where applicable, the date of the postmark on the envelope containing the fee and from whom, and for what office the party paying same is a candidate.
(6) The secretaries of the proper executive committee shall hold the funds to be finally disposed of by order of their respective executive committees. The funds may be used or disbursed by the executive committee receiving same to pay all necessary traveling or other necessary expenses of the members of the executive committee incurred in discharging their duties as committee members, and of their secretary and may pay the secretary such salary as may be reasonable. The Secretary of State shall deposit any qualifying fees received from candidates into the Elections Support Fund established in Section 23-15-5.
(7) Upon receipt of the proper fee and all necessary information, the proper executive committee or the Secretary of State, whichever is applicable, shall then determine at the time of the qualifying deadline, unless otherwise provided by law, whether each candidate is a qualified elector of the state, state district, county or county district which they seek to serve, and whether each candidate meets all other qualifications to hold the office he or she is seeking or presents absolute proof that he or she will, subject to no contingencies, meet all qualifications on or before the date of the general or special election at which he or she could be elected to office. The proper executive committee or the Secretary of State, whichever is applicable, shall determine whether the candidate has taken the steps necessary to qualify for more than one (1) office at the election. The committee or the Secretary of State, whichever is applicable, shall also determine whether any candidate has been convicted of any felony in a court of this state, or has been convicted on or after December 8, 1992, of any offense in another state which is a felony under the laws of this state, or has been convicted of any felony in a federal court on or after December 8, 1992. Excepted from the above are convictions of manslaughter and violations of the United States Internal Revenue Code or any violations of the tax laws of this state unless the offense also involved misuse or abuse of his or her office or money coming into his or her hands by virtue of the office. If the proper executive committee or the Secretary of State, whichever is applicable, finds that a candidate either (a) is not a qualified elector, (b) does not meet all qualifications to hold the office he or she seeks and fails to provide absolute proof, subject to no contingencies, that he or she will meet the qualifications on or before the date of the general or special election at which he or she could be elected, or (c) has been convicted of a felony as described in this subsection, and not pardoned, then the executive committee shall notify the candidate and give the candidate an opportunity to be heard. The executive committee shall mail notice to the candidate at least three (3) business days before the hearing to the address provided by the candidate on the qualifying forms, and the committee shall attempt to contact the candidate by telephone, email and facsimile if the candidate provided this information on the forms. If the candidate fails to appear at the hearing or to prove that he or she meets all qualifications to hold the office subject to no contingencies, then the name of that candidate shall not be placed upon the ballot. If the proper executive committee or the Secretary of State, whichever is applicable, determines that the candidate has taken the steps necessary to qualify for more than one (1) office at the election, the action required by Section 23-15-905, shall be taken. Where there is but one (1) candidate for each office contested at the primary election, the proper executive committee or the Secretary of State, whichever is applicable, when the time has expired within which the names of candidates shall be furnished shall declare such candidates the nominees.
(8) No candidate may qualify by filing the information required by this section by using the Internet.

§ 23-15-301. Payment of election expenses.

All the expenses of printing the tickets or primary election ballots, for necessary stationery, and for paying the managers, clerks and returning officer of every primary election authorized by this chapter held in any county shall be paid by the board of supervisors of such county out of the general funds of the county, but such officers of primary elections shall receive only such compensation as is authorized by Section 23-15-227 to be paid managers, clerks and returning officer for like services in holding elections thereunder. However, this section shall not apply to the expenses of a primary election held by any political party which at either of the last two (2) preceding general elections for the office of Governor or either of the last two (2) preceding national elections for President of the United States did not vote as many as twenty percent (20%) of the total vote cast in the entire state.

 

§ 23-15-303. Each political party or organization to hold independent primary election.

When two (2) or more political parties or political organizations are holding primary elections, each shall be conducted entirely independent of the other but at the same time.

 

§ 23-15-305. Majority vote required for nomination; run-off elections.

The candidate who received the majority number of votes cast for the office which he seeks shall thereby become the nominee of his party for such office and no person shall be declared to be the nominee of his party unless and until he has received a majority of the votes cast for such office, except as hereinafter provided. If no candidate received such majority of the votes cast in the first primary, then the two (2) candidates who receive the highest number of votes cast for such office shall have their names submitted as such candidates to the second primary and the candidate who leads in such second primary shall be nominated for the office.
If the candidate who received the second highest number of votes cast for such office for any reason declines to enter the second primary, then in that event the candidate who received the third highest shall have his name submitted to the second primary, together with the candidate who received the highest number of votes cast for such office.
If the candidate who received the third highest number of votes cast for such office for any reason declines to enter the second primary, then in that event the candidate who received the fourth highest shall have his name submitted to the second primary, together with the candidate who received the highest number of votes cast for such office.
If no candidate will enter the second primary with the candidate who received the highest number of votes cast, then the candidate who received the highest number of votes cast in the first primary shall be declared the nominee of his party for such office.

 

§ 23-15-307. Nomination as condition of being placed on general election ballot and holding office.

The name of any candidate shall not be placed upon the official ballot in general elections as a party nominee who is not nominated as herein provided, and the election of any party nominee who shall be nominated otherwise than as provided in this chapter shall be void and he or she shall not be entitled to hold the office to which he or she may have been elected.

 

§ 23-15-309. Nomination for elective municipal office to be made at primary election; fee requirements; determination of candidate’s qualifications.

(1) Nominations for all municipal officers which are elective shall be made at a primary election, or elections, to be held in the manner prescribed by law. All persons desiring to be candidates for the nomination in the primary elections shall first pay Ten Dollars ($10.00) to the clerk of the municipality, at least sixty (60) days before the first primary election, no later than 5:00 p.m. on such deadline day. If the sixtieth day to file the fee and written statement before an election falls on a Sunday or legal holiday, the fees and written statements submitted on the business day immediately following the Sunday or legal holiday shall be accepted.
(2) The fee paid pursuant to subsection (1) of this section shall be accompanied by a written statement containing the name and address of the candidate, the party with which he or she is affiliated, the email address of the candidate, if any, and the office for which he or she is a candidate.
(3) The clerk shall promptly receipt the payment, stating the office for which the person making the payment is running and the political party with which such person is affiliated. The clerk shall keep an itemized account in detail showing the time and date of the receipt of such payment received by him or her, from whom such payment was received, the party with which such person is affiliated and for what office the person paying the fee is a candidate. No candidate may attempt to qualify with any political party that does not have a duly organized municipal executive committee, and the municipal clerk shall not accept any assessments made pursuant to subsection (1) if the municipal clerk does not have contact information for the secretary of the municipal executive committee for that political party. The clerk shall promptly supply all necessary information and pay over all fees so received to the secretary of the proper municipal executive committee. The funds may be used and disbursed in the same manner as is allowed in Section 23-15-299 in regard to other executive committees.
(4) Upon receipt of the above information, the proper municipal executive committee shall then determine, at the time of the qualifying deadline, whether each candidate is a qualified elector of the municipality, and of the ward if the office sought is a ward office, shall determine whether each candidate either meets all other qualifications to hold the office he or she is seeking or presents absolute proof that he or she will, subject to no contingencies, meet all qualifications on or before the date of the general or special election at which he or she could be elected to office. The executive committee shall determine whether the candidate has taken the steps necessary to qualify for more than one (1) office at the election. The committee also shall determine whether any candidate has been convicted of any felony in a court of this state, or has been convicted on or after December 8, 1992, of any offense in another state which is a felony under the laws of this state, or has been convicted of any felony in a federal court on or after December 8, 1992. Excepted from the above are convictions of manslaughter and violations of the United States Internal Revenue Code or any violations of the tax laws of this state unless such offense also involved misuse or abuse of his or her office or money coming into his or her hands by virtue of the office. If the proper municipal executive committee finds that a candidate either (a) does not meet all qualifications to hold the office he or she seeks and fails to provide absolute proof, subject to no contingencies, that he or she will meet the qualifications on or before the date of the general or special election at which he or she could be elected, or (b) has been convicted of a felony as described in this subsection and not pardoned, then the executive committee shall notify the candidate and give the candidate an opportunity to be heard. The executive committee shall mail notice to the candidate at least three (3) business days before the hearing to the address provided by the candidate on the qualifying forms, and the committee shall attempt to contact the candidate by telephone, email and facsimile if the candidate provided this information on the forms. If the candidate fails to appear at the hearing or to prove he or she meets all qualifications to hold the office subject to no contingencies, then the name of such candidate shall not be placed upon the ballot. If the executive committee determines that the candidate has taken the steps necessary to qualify for more than one (1) office at the election, the action required by Section 23-15-905, shall be taken.
(5) Where there is but one (1) candidate, the proper municipal executive committee when the time has expired within which the names of candidates shall be furnished shall declare such candidate the nominee.

 

§ 23-15-311. Payment of municipal primary election expenses.

All the expenses of printing the tickets, paying the poll managers, clerks and returning officer of a municipal primary election shall be paid by the municipality from the general funds thereof, but such officers of primary elections shall receive only such compensation as is authorized by law or ordinance to be paid poll managers, clerks and returning officer for like services rendered in the general elections held in the municipality.

 

§ 23-15-313. Selection of temporary executive committee in municipality not having party executive committee; notice to public; county executive committee to serve as municipal executive committee under certain circumstances; person convicted of felony barred from serving as member of municipal executive committee.

(1) If there be any political party, or parties, in any municipality which shall not have a party executive committee for such municipality, such political party, or parties, shall within thirty
(30) days of the date for which a candidate for a municipal office is required to qualify in that municipality select qualified electors of that municipality and of that party’s political faith to serve on a temporary municipal executive committee until members of a municipal executive committee are elected at the next regular election for executive committees. The temporary municipal executive committee shall be selected in the following manner: The chairman of the county executive committee of the party desiring to select a temporary municipal executive committee shall call, upon petition of five (5) or more members of that political faith, a mass meeting of the qualified electors of their political faith who reside in such municipality to meet at some convenient place within such municipality, at a time to be designated in the call, and at such mass convention the members of that political faith shall select a temporary municipal executive committee which shall serve until members of a municipal executive committee are elected at the next regular election for executive committees. The public shall be given notice of such mass meeting as provided in Section 23-15-315. The chairman of the county executive committee shall authorize the call within five (5) calendar days of receipt of the petition. If the chairman of the county executive committee is either incapacitated, unavailable or nonresponsive and does not authorize the mass call within five (5) calendar days of receipt of the petition, any elected officer of the county executive committee may authorize the call within five (5) calendar days. If no elected officer of the county executive committee acts to approve such petition after an additional five (5) calendar days from the date, the chair of the county executive committee not taking action as provided by this section, the petitioners shall be authorized to produce the call themselves.
(2) If no municipal executive committee is selected or otherwise formed before an election, the county executive committee may serve as the temporary municipal executive committee and exercise all of the duties of the municipal executive committee for the municipal election. After a county executive committee has fulfilled its duties as the temporary municipal executive committee, as soon as practicable thereafter, the county executive committee shall select a municipal executive committee no later than before the next municipal election.
(3) A person who has been convicted of a felony in a court of this state or any other state or a court of the United States, shall be barred from serving as a member of a municipal executive committee.

 

§ 23-15-315. Publication of notice to public.

The county executive committee chairman shall publish a copy of his call for a meeting in some newspaper published at least once per week in the municipality affected for three (3) weeks preceding the date set for the mass convention, or if there be no newspaper published in the municipality, then in some newspaper having general circulation in the municipality and by posting notices continuously in three (3) public places in the municipality, one (1) of which shall be city hall or be the regular location where the municipal governing authority meets to conduct business not less than three (3) weeks before the date for the mass convention.

 

§ 23-15-317. Nomination of nominee when vacancy in nomination occurs between primary election and general election; procedure for withdrawal based upon legitimate nonpolitical reason.

If any person nominated for office in a primary election shall die, be removed after his or her nomination or withdraw or resign from his or her candidacy for a legitimate nonpolitical reason as defined in this section, and the vacancy in nomination shall occur between the primary election and the ensuing general election, then the municipal, county or state executive committee with which the original nominee qualified as a candidate in the primary election shall nominate a nominee for such office. Where such a party nominee is unopposed each political party registered with the State Board of Election Commissioners shall have the privilege of nominating a candidate for the office involved. Such nominee shall be duly certified by the respective executive committee chair. Within two (2) days after such nomination is made by the appropriate executive committee, such committee shall formally notify the Secretary of State of the name of the nominee. The Secretary of State shall thereupon officially notify the appropriate officials charged with conducting the election for the office wherein the vacancy occurred of the name of the nominee. All nominations made pursuant to the provisions of this section shall have the same force and effect and shall entitle the nominees to all rights and privileges that would accrue to them as if they had been nominated in the regular primary election.
“Legitimate nonpolitical reason” as used in this section shall be limited to the following:

(a) Reasons of health, which shall include any health condition which, in the written opinion of a medical doctor, would be harmful to the health of the candidate if he or she continued.
(b) Family crises, which shall include circumstances which would substantially alter the duties and responsibilities of the candidate to the family or to a family business.
(c) Substantial business conflict, which shall include the policy of an employer prohibiting employees being candidates for public offices and an employment change which would result in the ineligibility of the candidate or which would impair his or her capability to properly carry out the functions of the office being sought.

Any candidate who withdraws based upon a “legitimate nonpolitical reason” which is not covered by the above definition shall have the strict burden of proof for his or her reason.
A candidate who wishes to withdraw for a legitimate nonpolitical reason shall submit his or her reason by sworn affidavit. Such affidavit shall be filed with the state party chair of the nominee’s party and the State Board of Election Commissioners. No substitution of candidates shall be authorized, except for death or disqualification, unless the State Board of Election Commissioners approves the affidavit as constituting a “legitimate nonpolitical reason” for the candidate’s resignation within five (5) days of the date the affidavit is submitted to the board.
Immediately upon approval or disapproval of such affidavit, the State Board of Election Commissioners shall notify the respective executive committee of same.

 

§ 23-15-319. Applicability of chapter to municipal primary elections.

All the provisions of this subarticle as far as practicable shall apply to and regulate primary elections for the nomination of elective municipal offices. Candidates for the nomination of such municipal offices shall file with the clerk of the city, village or town, the affidavits and reports required of candidates for party nominations to any county or county district office to be filed pursuant to this chapter.

 

ARTICLE 13. BALLOTS

 

SUBARTICLE A. PRIMARY ELECTIONS

§ 23-15-331. Duties of state executive committee.

It shall be the duty of the state executive committee of each political party to furnish to each county executive committee, not less than fifty (50) days prior to the election, the names of all state and state district candidates and all candidates for legislative districts composed of more than one county or parts of more than one county who have qualified as provided by law, and in accordance with the requirements of Section 23-15-333 a sample of the official ballot to be used in the primary, the general form of which shall be followed as nearly as practicable.

 

§ 23-15-333. Duties of county executive committee; order in which titles of various offices and names of candidates are to be listed on the ballot.

(1) The county executive committee shall have printed all necessary ballots, for use in primary elections. The county executive committee shall have printed all necessary absentee ballots forty-five (45) days before the election as required by law. The ballots shall contain the names of all the candidates to be voted for at the election, and there shall be left on each ballot one (1) blank space under the title of each office for which a nominee is to be elected; and in the event of the death of any candidate whose name shall have been printed on the ballot, the name of the candidate duly substituted in the place of the deceased candidate may be written in such blank space by the voter. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2) of this section, the order in which the titles to the various offices shall be printed, and the size, print and quality of the paper of the ballot is left to the discretion of the county executive committee. Provided, however, that in all cases the arrangement of the names of the candidates for each office shall be alphabetical. No ballot shall be used except those so printed.
(2) The titles for the various offices shall be listed in the following order:

(a) Candidates, electors or delegates for the following national offices:

(i) President of the United States of America;
(ii) United States Senator or United States Representative;

(b) Candidates for the following statewide offices: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Auditor of Public Accounts, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, Commissioner of Insurance;
(c) Candidates for the following state district offices: Mississippi Transportation Commissioner, Public Service Commissioner, District Attorney;
(d) Candidates for the following legislative offices: Senator and House of Representatives;
(e) Candidates for countywide office;
(f) Candidates for county district office.
The order in which the titles for the various offices are listed within each of the categories listed in paragraphs (e) and (f) are left to the discretion of the county executive committee. Candidates’ names shall be listed alphabetically under each office by the candidate’s last name.

(3) If after the deadline to qualify as a candidate for an office, only one (1) person has duly qualified to be a candidate for the office in the primary election, the name of that person shall be placed on the ballot; provided, however, that if not more than one (1) person has duly qualified to be a candidate for each office on the primary election ballot, the election for all offices on the ballot shall be dispensed with and the appropriate executive committee shall declare each candidate as the party nominee if the candidate meets all the qualifications to hold the office.
(4)

(a) If it is eligible under Section 23-15-266, the county executive committee may enter into a written agreement with the circuit clerk or the county election commission authorizing the circuit clerk or the county election commission to perform any of the duties required of the county executive committee pursuant to this section. Any agreement entered into pursuant to this subsection shall be signed by the chair of the county executive committee and the circuit clerk or the chair of the county election commission, as appropriate. The county executive committee shall notify the state executive committee and the Secretary of State of the existence of such agreement.
(b) If it is eligible under Section 23-15-266, the municipal executive committee may enter into a written agreement with the municipal clerk or the municipal election commission authorizing the municipal clerk or the municipal election commission to perform any of the duties required of the municipal executive committee pursuant to this section. Any agreement entered into pursuant to this subsection shall be signed by the chair of the municipal executive committee and the municipal clerk or the chair of the municipal election commission, as appropriate. The municipal executive committee shall notify the state executive committee and the Secretary of State of the existence of such agreement.

 

§ 23-15-335. Duties of person designated by county executive committee to distribute ballots.

(1) The county executive committee shall designate a person whose duty it shall be to distribute all necessary ballots for use in a primary election, and shall designate one (1) among the poll managers at each polling place to receive and receipt for the blank ballots to be used at that place. When the blank ballots are delivered to a local poll manager, the distributor shall take from the local poll manager a receipt therefor signed in duplicate by both the distributor and the poll manager, one (1) of which receipts the distributor shall deliver to the circuit clerk and the other shall be retained by the local poll manager and the last mentioned duplicate receipt shall be enclosed in the ballot box with the voted ballots when the polls have been closed and the votes have been counted. The printer of the ballots shall take a receipt from the distributor of the ballots for the total number of the blank ballots delivered to the distributor. The printer shall secure all ballots printed by him or her in such a safe manner that no person can procure them or any of them, and he or she shall deliver no blank ballot or ballots to any person except the distributor above mentioned, and then only upon his or her receipt therefor as above specified. The distributor of the blank ballots shall so securely hold the same that no person can obtain any of them, and he or she shall not deliver any of them to any person other than to the authorized local poll managers and upon their respective receipts therefor. The executive committee shall see to it that the total blank ballots delivered to the distributor, shall correspond with the total of the receipts executed by the local poll managers.
(2)

(a) If it is eligible under Section 23-15-266, the county executive committee may enter into a written agreement with the circuit clerk or the county election commission authorizing the circuit clerk or the county election commission to perform any of the duties required of the county executive committee pursuant to this section. Any agreement entered into pursuant to this subsection shall be signed by the chair of the county executive committee and the circuit clerk or the chair of the county election commission, as appropriate. The county executive committee shall notify the state executive committee and the Secretary of State of the existence of such agreement.
(b) If it is eligible under Section 23-15-266, the municipal executive committee may enter into a written agreement with the municipal clerk or the municipal election commission authorizing the municipal clerk or the municipal election commission to perform any of the duties required of the municipal executive committee pursuant to this section. Any agreement entered into pursuant to this subsection shall be signed by the chair of the municipal executive committee and the municipal clerk or the chair of the municipal election commission, as appropriate. The municipal executive committee shall notify the state executive committee and the Secretary of State of the existence of such agreement.

(3) Any person charged with any of the duties prescribed in this section who shall willfully or with culpable carelessness violate the same shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

 

SUBARTICLE B. OTHER ELECTIONS

§ 23-15-351. Authority to print ballots; penalties.

It shall be the duty of the chair of the election commission of each county to have printed all necessary ballots for use in elections, except ballots in municipal elections which shall be printed as herein provided by the authorities of the respective municipalities; and the election commissioner shall cause the official ballot to be printed by a printer sworn to keep the ballots secret under the penalties prescribed by law. The printer shall deliver to the election commissioners for holding elections, a certificate of the number of ballots printed for each precinct, and shall not print any additional ballots, except on instruction of proper election commissioners; and failure to observe either of these requirements shall be a misdemeanor.

 

§ 23-15-353. Sufficient ballots to be printed and distributed.

The officer charged with printing and distributing the official ballot shall ascertain from the registrar, at least ten (10) days before the day of election, the number of registered voters in each voting precinct; and he or she shall have printed and distributed a sufficient number of ballots for use in each precinct.

 

§ 23-15-355. Payment of ballot expenses.

Ballots in all elections shall be printed and distributed at public expense and shall be known as “official ballots.” The expense of printing the ballots shall be paid out of the county treasury, except that in municipal elections such expenses shall be paid by the respective cities, towns and villages.

 

§ 23-15-357. Back and outside of ballot.

On the back and outside of the ballot shall be printed the words “OFFICIAL BALLOT,” the name of the voting precinct or place for which the ballot is prepared, and the date of the election.

 

§ 23-15-359. Names of candidates to be printed on ballot; filing of petition for office; inapplicability of section to municipal elections; special elections; determination of candidate’s qualifications; declaration of nominee in single candidate race.

(1) Except as provided in this section, the ballot shall contain the names of all party nominees certified by the appropriate executive committee, and independent and special election candidates who have timely filed petitions containing the required signatures and assessments that must be paid pursuant to Section 23-15-297, if the candidates and nominees meet all of the qualifications to hold the office sought. A petition requesting that an independent or special election candidate’s name be placed on the ballot for any office shall be filed as provided for in subsection (3) or (4) of this section, as appropriate, and shall be signed by not less than the following number of qualified electors:

(a) For an office elected by the state at large, not less than one thousand (1,000) qualified electors.
(b) For an office elected by the qualified electors of a Supreme Court district, not less than three hundred (300) qualified electors.
(c) For an office elected by the qualified electors of a congressional district, not less than two hundred (200) qualified electors.

(d) For an office elected by the qualified electors of a circuit or chancery court district, not less than one hundred (100) qualified electors.
(e) For an office elected by the qualified electors of a senatorial or representative district, not less than fifty (50) qualified electors.
(f) For an office elected by the qualified electors of a county, not less than fifty (50) qualified electors.
(g) For an office elected by the qualified electors of a supervisors district or justice court district, not less than fifteen (15) qualified electors.
(h) For the Office of President of the United States, a party nominee or independent candidate shall pay an assessment in the amount of Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00).

(2)

(a) Unless the petition or fee, whichever is applicable, required above shall be filed as provided for in subsection (3), (4) or (5) of this section, as appropriate, the name of the person requested to be a candidate, unless nominated by a political party, shall not be placed upon the ballot. The ballot shall contain the names of each candidate for each office, and the names shall be listed under the name of the political party that candidate represents as provided by law and as certified to the circuit clerk by the state executive committee of the political party. In the event the candidate qualifies as an independent as provided in this section, he or she shall be listed on the ballot as an independent candidate.
(b) The name of an independent or special election candidate who dies before the printing of the ballots, shall not be placed on the ballots.

(3) Petitions for offices described in paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) of subsection (1) of this section shall be filed with the Secretary of State by no later than 5:00 p.m. on the same date or business day, as applicable, by which candidates are required to pay the fee provided for in Section 23-15-297; however, no petition may be filed before January 1 of the year in which the election for the office is held.
(4) Petitions for offices described in paragraphs (f) and (g) of subsection (1) of this section shall be filed with the proper circuit clerk by no later than 5:00 p.m. on the same date by which candidates are required to pay the fee provided for in Section 23-15-297; however, no petition may be filed before January 1 of the year in which the election for the office is held. The circuit clerk shall notify the county election commissioners of all persons who have filed petitions with the clerk. The notification shall occur within two (2) business days and shall contain all necessary information.
(5) The assessment for the office described in paragraph (h) of subsection (1) of this section shall be paid to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall deposit any qualifying fees received from candidates into the Elections Support Fund established in Section 23-15-5.
(6) The election commissioners may also have printed upon the ballot any local issue election matter that is authorized to be held on the same date as the regular or general election pursuant to Section 23-15-375; however, the ballot form of the local issue must be filed with the election commissioners by the appropriate governing authority not less than sixty (60) days before the date of the election.
(7) The provisions of this section shall not apply to municipal elections or to the election of the offices of justice of the Supreme Court, judge of the Court of Appeals, circuit judge, chancellor, county court judge and family court judge.
(8) Nothing in this section shall prohibit special elections to fill vacancies in either house of the Legislature from being held as provided in Section 23-15-851. In all elections conducted under the provisions of Section 23-15-851, there shall be printed on the ballot the name of any candidate who, not having been nominated by a political party, shall have been requested to be a candidate for any office by a petition filed with the Secretary of State and signed by not less than fifty (50) qualified electors.
(9) The appropriate election commission shall determine whether each candidate is a qualified elector of the state, state district, county or county district they seek to serve, and whether each candidate meets all other qualifications to hold the office he or she is seeking or presents absolute proof that he or she will, subject to no contingencies, meet all qualifications on or before the date of the general or special election at which he or she could be elected to office. The election commission shall determine whether the candidate has taken the steps necessary to qualify for more than one (1) office at the election. The election commission also shall determine whether any candidate has been convicted of any felony in a court of this state, or has been convicted on or after December 8, 1992, of any offense in another state which is a felony under the laws of this state, or has been convicted of any felony in a federal court on or after December 8, 1992. Excepted from the above are convictions of manslaughter and violations of the United States Internal Revenue Code or any violations of the tax laws of this state, unless the offense also involved misuse or abuse of his or her office or money coming into his or her hands by virtue of the office. If the appropriate election commission finds that a candidate either (a) is not a qualified elector, (b) does not meet all qualifications to hold the office he or she seeks and fails to provide absolute proof, subject to no contingencies, that he or she will meet the qualifications on or before the date of the general or special election at which he or she could be elected, or (c) has been convicted of a felony as described in this subsection, and not pardoned, then the election commission shall notify the candidate and give the candidate an opportunity to be heard. The election commission shall mail notice to the candidate at least three (3) business days before the hearing to the address provided by the candidate on the qualifying forms, and the committee shall attempt to contact the candidate by telephone, email and facsimile if the candidate provided this information on the forms. If the candidate fails to appear at the hearing or to prove that he or she meets all qualifications to hold the office subject to no contingencies, then the name of such candidate shall not be placed upon the ballot. If the appropriate election commission determines that the candidate has taken the steps necessary to qualify for more than one (1) office at the election, the action required by Section 23-15-905, shall be taken.
(10) If after the deadline to qualify as a candidate for an office or after the time for holding any party primary for an office, only one (1) person has duly qualified to be a candidate for the office in the general election, the name of that person shall be placed on the ballot; provided, however, that if not more than one (1) person duly qualified to be a candidate for each office on the general election ballot, the election for all offices on the ballot shall be dispensed with and the appropriate election commission shall declare each candidate elected without opposition if the candidate meets all the qualifications to hold the office as determined pursuant to a review by the election commission in accordance with the provisions of subsection (9) of this section and if the candidate has filed all required campaign finance disclosure reports as required by Section 23-15-807.
(11) The petition required by this section may not be filed by using the Internet.

 

§ 23-15-361. Names of municipal office candidates to be printed on ballot; filing of petition for municipal office; determination of candidate’s qualifications; declaration of nominee in single candidate race.

(1) The municipal general election ballot shall contain the names of all candidates who have been put in nomination by the municipal primary election of any political party. There shall be printed on the ballots the names of all persons so nominated, whether the nomination be otherwise known or not, upon the written request of one or more of the candidates so nominated, or of any qualified elector who will make oath that he or she was a participant in the primary election, and that the person whose name is presented by him or her was nominated by such primary election. The municipal election commissioners who are required to have the ballots printed, shall also have printed on the ballot in any municipal general election the name of any candidate who, not having been nominated by a political party, shall have been requested to be a candidate for any office by a petition filed with the clerk of the municipality no later than 5:00 p.m. on the same date by which candidates for nomination in the municipal primary elections are required to pay the fee provided for in Section 23-15-309, and signed by not less than the following number of qualified electors:

(a) For an office elected by the qualified electors of a municipality or a municipal district having a population of one thousand (1,000) or more, not less than fifty (50) qualified electors.
(b) For an office elected by the qualified electors of a municipality or a municipal district having a population of less than one thousand (1,000), not less than fifteen (15) qualified electors.

(2) Unless the petition required above shall be filed no later than 5:00 p.m. on the same date by which candidates for nomination in the municipal primary election are required to pay the fee provided for in Section 23-15-309, the name of the person requested to be a candidate, unless nominated by a political party, shall not be placed upon the ballot. The ballot shall contain the names of each candidate for each municipal office, and the names shall be listed under the name of the political party the candidate represents as provided by law and as certified to the municipal clerk by the municipal executive committee of such political party. In the event such candidate qualifies as an independent as herein provided, he or she shall be listed on the ballot as an independent candidate.
(3) The clerk of the municipality shall notify the municipal election commissioners of all persons who have filed petitions pursuant to subsection (1) of this section within two (2) business days of the date of filing.
(4) The ballot in elections to fill vacancies in municipal elective office shall contain the names of all persons who have qualified as required by Section 23-15-857.
(5) The municipal election commission shall determine whether each party candidate in the municipal general election is a qualified elector of the municipality, and of the ward if the office sought is a ward office and shall determine whether each candidate either meets all other qualifications to hold the office he or she is seeking or presents absolute proof that he or she will, subject to no contingencies, meet all qualifications on or before the date of the general or special election at which he or she could be elected to office. The municipal election commission also shall determine whether any candidate has been convicted of any felony in a court of this state, or has been convicted on or after December 8, 1992, of any offense in another state which is a felony under the laws of this state, or has been convicted of any felony in a federal court on or after December 8, 1992. Excepted from the above are convictions of manslaughter and violations of the United States Internal Revenue Code or any violations of the tax laws of this state unless such offense also involved misuse or abuse of his or her office or money coming into his or her hands by virtue of the office. If the municipal election commission finds that a candidate either (a) is not a qualified elector, (b) does not meet all qualifications to hold the office he or she seeks and fails to provide absolute proof, subject to no contingencies, that he or she will meet the qualifications on or before the date of the general or special election at which he or she could be elected, or (c) has been convicted of a felony as described above and not pardoned, then the election commission shall notify the candidate and give the candidate an opportunity to be heard. The election commission shall mail notice to the candidate at least three (3) business days before the hearing to the address provided by the candidate on the qualifying forms, and the committee shall attempt to contact the candidate by telephone, email and facsimile if the candidate provided this information on the forms. If the candidate fails to appear at the hearing or to prove he or she meets all qualifications to hold the office subject to no contingencies, then the name of the candidate shall not be placed upon the ballot.
(6) If after the deadline to qualify as a candidate for an office or after the time for holding any party primary election for an office, only one (1) person has duly qualified to be a candidate for the office in the general election the name of that person shall be placed on the ballot; provided, however, that if not more than one (1) person has duly qualified to be a candidate for each office on the general election ballot, the election for all offices on the ballot shall be dispensed with and the municipal election commission shall declare each candidate elected without opposition if the candidate meets all the qualifications to hold the office as determined pursuant to a review by the election commission in accordance with the provisions of subsection
(5) of this section and if the candidate has filed all required campaign finance disclosure reports as required by Section 23-15-807.

 

§ 23-15-363. Names of candidates who have not duly withdrawn not omitted from ballot.

After the proper officer has knowledge of or has been notified of the nomination, as provided, of any candidate for office, the officer shall not omit his name from the ballot, unless upon the written request of the candidate nominated, made at least ten (10) days before the election, and in no case after such ballot has been printed; and every ballot shall contain the names of all candidates nominated as specified, and not duly withdrawn.

 

§ 23-15-365. Write-in candidates; blank space on general, special and primary election ballots; applicability of section to elections conducted under Sections 23-15-974 through 23-15-985.

(1)

(a) In general and special elections, one (1) blank space shall be left on each ballot under the title of each office to be voted for, and in the event of the death, resignation, withdrawal or removal of any candidate whose name was printed on the official ballot, the name of the candidate duly substituted in the place of such candidate who is qualified to hold the office may be written in the blank space by the voter.
(b) In all primary elections, one (1) blank space shall be left on each ballot under the title of each office to be voted for, and in the event of the death, resignation, or withdrawal of a candidate, the name of any individual who is qualified to hold the office may be written in the blank space by the voter.

(2) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to elections conducted under the Nonpartisan Judicial Election Act.

 

§ 23-15-367. Printing of official ballot generally; order in which titles of various offices are to be listed on the ballot; furnishing of sample of official ballot; alphabetical arrangement in primary elections.

(1) Except as otherwise provided by Sections 23-15-974 through 23-15-985 and subsection (2) of this section, the size, print and quality of paper of the official ballot is left to the discretion of the officer charged with printing the official ballot.
(2) The titles for the various offices shall be listed in the following order:

(a) Candidates, electors or delegates for the following national offices:

(i) President;
(ii) United States Senator or United States Representative;

(b) Candidates for the following statewide office: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Auditor of Public Accounts, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, Commissioner of Insurance;
(c) Candidates for the following state district offices: Mississippi Transportation Commissioner, Public Service Commissioner, District Attorney;
(d) Candidates for the following legislative offices: Senate and House of Representatives;
(e) Candidates for countywide office;
(f) Candidates for county district office.
The order in which the titles for the various offices are listed within paragraphs (e) and (f) is left to the discretion of the county election commissioners. Nominees of the political parties, qualified to conduct primary elections as defined in Section 23-15-291, shall be listed first alphabetically by the candidate’s last name, followed by any other candidates listed alphabetically by last name.

(3) It is the duty of the Secretary of State, with the approval of the Governor, to furnish the designated election commissioner of each county a sample of the official ballot, not less than fifty-five (55) days before the election, the general form of which shall be followed as nearly as practicable.

 

§ 23-15-369. Form and substance of proposed constitutional amendment or other public measure.

(1)

(a) Whenever a constitutional amendment is submitted to the vote of the people, the substance of the amendment shall be printed in clear and unambiguous language on the ballot after the list of candidates, if any, followed by the word “YES” and also by the word “NO”, and shall be styled in such a manner that a “YES” vote will indicate approval of the proposal and a “NO” vote will indicate rejection.
(b) The substance of the amendment shall be an explanatory statement not exceeding seventy-five (75) words in length of the chief purpose of the measure. The statement shall be prepared by the Legislature and included in the concurrent resolution proposing the amendment to the Constitution. The statement shall avoid, whenever possible, the use of legal terminology or jargon and shall use instead, simple, ordinary, everyday language. The Secretary of State shall give each proposed constitutional amendment a designating number for convenient reference specific to the election in which the amendment appears on the ballot. This number designation shall appear on the ballot. Designating numbers shall be assigned in the order of filing or certification of the amendments. The Secretary of State shall furnish the designating number and the substance of each amendment to the circuit clerk of each county in which the amendment is to be voted on.
(c) The full text of each proposed constitutional amendment shall be published by the Secretary of State as provided for in Section 7-3-39, and shall be posted prominently in all polling places, with copies of the proposed amendment to be otherwise available at each polling place.

(2) Except as may be otherwise provided in subsection (1) of this section, whenever any public measure, question or matter that requires an affirmative or negative vote is submitted to a vote of the electors, the measure or matter shall be printed on the ballot and also the words “FOR” or “AGAINST” to be so arranged by the proper officer so that the voter can intelligently vote his or her preference.

 

§ 23-15-371. Loss or destruction of official ballots.

In case the official ballots prepared shall be lost or destroyed, the election commissioners shall have like ballots furnished in place of those lost or destroyed, if time remain therefor. If from any cause there should be no official ballots or an insufficient number at a voting place, and not sufficient time in which to have them printed, the ballots may be written; but, if written by anyone except the voter alone for himself or herself, the names of all candidates shall be written thereon, without any mark or device by which one (1) name may be distinguished from another, and the ballots shall be marked by the voter as provided for printed ballots. If the poll manager designated fails to have the ballots at the voting place at the proper time, or if he or she fails to distribute them, the poll managers, or those of them present at the election, shall provide ballots, and select some suitable person to distribute them, who shall take the oath required of the poll managers, and distribute the ballots according to law.

 

§ 23-15-373. Report regarding lost ballots.

Within one (1) day after election day, the poll managers shall report to the election commissioners, under oath, as to the loss of official ballots, the number lost, and all facts connected therewith, which report the commissioners may deliver to the grand jury, if deemed advisable.

 

§ 23-15-375. Local issues.

Local issue elections may be held on the same date as any regular or general election. A local issue election held on the same date as the regular or general election shall be conducted in the same manner as the regular or general election using the same poll workers and the same equipment. A local issue may be placed on the regular or general election ballot pursuant to the provisions of Section 23-15-359. The provisions of this section and Section 23-15-359 with regard to local issue elections shall not be construed to affect any statutory requirements specifying the notice procedure and the necessary percentage of qualified electors voting in such an election which is needed for adoption of the local issue. Whether or not a local issue is adopted or defeated at a local issue election held on the same day as a regular or general election shall be determined in accordance with relevant statutory requirements regarding the necessary percentage of qualified electors who voted in the local issue election, and only those persons voting for or against the issue shall be counted in making that determination. As used in this section “local issue elections” include elections regarding the issuance of bonds, local option elections, elections regarding the levy of additional ad valorem taxes and other similar elections authorized by law that are called to consider issues that affect a single local governmental entity. As used in this section “local issue” means any issue that may be voted on in a local issue election.

 

ARTICLE 15. VOTING SYSTEMS

 

SUBARTICLE A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

§ 23-15-391. Use of optical mark reading equipment or direct recording electronic voting equipment; use of paper ballot for special, municipal or runoff elections when determined to be less expensive.

The board of supervisors of each county and the governing authorities of each municipality shall use optical mark reading equipment or direct recording electronic voting equipment that complies with the specifications provided by law. The election commissioners may conduct special and municipal elections, as well as any necessary runoff elections, by paper ballot when the election commissioners determine that administration of an election by paper ballot will be less expensive than administration of the same election by optical mark reading equipment or direct recording electronic voting equipment.

 

§ 23-15-393. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 441, § 194, effective from and after July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-393. [Laws, 2005, ch. 534, § 17, eff June 6, 2005 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the addition of this section.)]

 

SUBARTICLE B. VOTING MACHINES

§§ 23-15-401 through 23-15-451. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 441, § 194, effective from and after July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-401. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-1 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-24; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 24; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 118, eff from
and after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-403. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-3 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-01; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 1; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 119, eff from and
after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-405. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-5 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-02; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 2; Laws, 1978, ch. 387, § 1; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986,
ch. 495, § 120, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-407. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-7 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-03; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 3; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 121, eff from and
after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-409. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-9 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-04; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 4; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 122, eff from and
after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-411. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-11 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-05; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 5; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 123, eff from and
after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-413. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-13 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-06; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 6; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 124, eff from and
after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-415. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-15 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-07; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 7; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 125, eff from and
after January 1, 1987.]

§ 23-15-417. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-17 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-08; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 8; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 126, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-419. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-19 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-09; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 9; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 127, eff from and
after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-421. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-21 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-10; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 10; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 335]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 128, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-423. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-23 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-11; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 11; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 129; Laws, 2011, ch. 357, § 1, eff July 28, 2011 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section.)]
§ 23-15-425. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-25 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-12; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 12; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 130, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-427. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-27 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-13; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 13; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 131, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-429. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-29 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-14; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 14; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 132, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-431. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-31 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-15; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 15; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 133, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-433. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-33 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-16; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 16; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 134, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-435. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-35 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-17; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 17; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 135, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-437. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-37 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-18; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 18; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 136, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]

§ 23-15-439. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-39 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-19; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 19; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 137, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-441. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-41 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-20; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 20; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 138, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-443. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-43 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-21; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 21; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 139, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-445. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-45 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-22; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 22; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 140, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-447. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-47 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-23; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 23; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 141, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-449. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-49 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-25; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 25; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 142, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-451. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-51 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-26; Laws, 1954, ch.
360, § 26; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 338]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 143, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]

 

SUBARTICLE C. ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEMS

 

PART 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS
§§ 23-15-461 through 23-15-485. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 441, § 195, effective from and after July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-461. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-301 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-31; Laws, 1966,
ch. 609, § 1; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 339]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 144; Laws, 2002, ch. 529, § 2, eff July 22, 2002 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section.)]
§ 23-15-463. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-303 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-32; Laws, 1966, ch.
609, § 2; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 339]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 145, eff from and
after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-465. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-305 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-33; Laws, 1966, ch. 609, § 3; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 339]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 146, eff from and
after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-467. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-307 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-34; Laws, 1966, ch. 609, § 4; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 339]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 147, eff from and
after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-469. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-309 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-35; Laws, 1966, ch. 609, § 5; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 339]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 148, eff from and
after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-471. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-311 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-36; Laws, 1966, ch. 609, § 6; Laws, 1972, ch. 512, § 2; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 339]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 149, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-473. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-313 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-37; Laws, 1966, ch. 609, § 7; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 339]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 150, eff from and
after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-475. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-315 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-38; Laws, 1966, ch. 609, § 8; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 339]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 151, eff from and
after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-477. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-317 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-39; Laws, 1966, ch. 609, § 9; Laws, 1972, ch. 512, § 1; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 339]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 152, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-479. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-319 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-40; Laws, 1966, ch. 609, § 10; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 339]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 153, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-481. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-321 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-41; Laws, 1966, ch. 609, § 11; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 339]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 154, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]
§ 23-15-483. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-323 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-42; Laws, 1966, ch. 609, § 12; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 339]; Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 155; Laws, 2002, ch. 529, § 3, eff July 29, 2002 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section.)]
§ 23-15-485. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-325 [Codes, 1942, § 3316-43; Laws, 1966, ch. 609, § 13; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 339]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 156, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]

 

PART 2. TRAINING ON USE OF ELECTRONIC VOTING EQUIPMENT
§ 23-15-491. Repealed.

Repealed by its own terms, effective July 1, 2009.
§ 23-15-491. [Laws, 2006, ch. 592, § 1, eff June 29, 2006 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the addition of this section.)]

 

SUBARTICLE D. OPTICAL MARK READING EQUIPMENT

§ 23-15-501. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 441, § 195, effective from and after July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-501. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-501 [Laws, 1984, ch. 509, § 1; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 340]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 157, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]

§ 23-15-503. Definitions.

As used in this subarticle, unless otherwise specified:

(a) “Optimal mark reading (OMR)” means a method of capturing data electronically into a computer system.
(b) “Optical mark reading equipment (OMR)” means an apparatus that reads pen and pencil marks made in pre-defined positions on paper ballots to automatically examine and count votes.
(c) “Counting center” means one or more locations used for the automatic counting of ballots.
(d) “Marking device” means a pen or pencil that the voters use to record their paper ballots, which is readable by the OMR equipment.
(e) “Ballot” means a paper ballot on which votes are recorded by means of marking the ballot with a marking device.

 

§ 23-15-505. Authority to purchase or rent OMR equipment; applicable law.

The board of supervisors of any county and the governing authorities of any municipality are hereby authorized and empowered, in their discretion, to purchase or rent OMR equipment that meets the requirements of Section 23-15-507 and may use such system in all or a part of the precincts within its boundaries. The provisions of this chapter shall be controlling with respect to elections in which OMR equipment is used, and shall be liberally construed so as to carry out the purpose of this chapter. The provisions of the election law relating to the conduct of elections with paper ballots, insofar as they are applicable, shall apply.

 

§ 23-15-507. Construction of OMR equipment.

No OMR equipment shall be acquired or used in accordance with this chapter unless it shall:

(a) Permit eligible voters to vote at any election for all persons for whom they are lawfully entitled to vote; to vote for as many persons for an office as they are lawfully entitled to vote; to vote for or against any ballot initiative, measure or other local issue upon which they are lawfully entitled to vote;
(b) The OMR equipment shall be capable of rejecting choices marked on the ballot if the number of choices exceeds the number that the voter is entitled to vote for the office or on the measure;
(c) Permit each voter, in presidential elections, by one (1) mark to vote for the candidates of that party for President, Vice President, and their presidential electors, or to vote individually for the electors of their choice when permitted by law;
(d) Permit each voter, in other than primary elections, to vote for the nominees of one or more parties and for independent candidates;
(e) Permit each voter to vote for candidates only in the primary in which he or she is qualified to vote;
(f) Permit each voter to vote for persons whose names are not on the printed ballot;
(g) Be suitably designed for the purpose used, of durable construction, and may be used safely, efficiently and accurately in the conduct of elections and the counting of ballots;
(h) Be provided with means for sealing the ballots after the close of the polls;
(i) When properly operated, record correctly and count accurately all votes cast; and
(j) Provide the voter with a set of instructions that will be displayed in such a way that a voter may readily learn the method of voting.

 

§ 23-15-509. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 441, § 196, effective from and after July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-509. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-7-509 [Laws, 1984, ch. 509, § 5; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 340]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 161, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]

§ 23-15-511. Form of ballots; posting of sample ballots; ballot security envelopes.

The ballots shall, as far as practicable, be in the same order of arrangement as provided for paper ballots that are to be counted manually, except that the information may be printed in vertical or horizontal rows. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as prohibiting the information being presented to the voters from being printed on both sides of a single ballot. In those years when a special election shall occur on the same day as the general election, the names of candidates in any special election and the general election shall be placed on the same ballot by the election commissioners or officials in charge of the election, but the general election candidates shall be clearly distinguished from the special election candidates. At any time a special election is held on the same day as a party primary election, the names of the candidates in the special election may be placed on the same ballot by the officials in charge of the election, but shall be clearly distinguished as special election candidates or primary election candidates.
Ballots shall be printed in plain clear type in black ink and upon clear white materials of such size and arrangement as to be compatible with the OMR equipment. Absentee ballots shall be prepared and printed in the same form and shall be on the same size and texture as the regular official ballots, except that they shall be printed on tinted paper; or the ink used to print the ballots shall be of a color different from that of the ink used to print the regular official ballots. Arrows may be printed on the ballot to indicate the place to mark the ballot, which may be to the right or left of the names of candidates and propositions. The titles of offices may be arranged in vertical columns on the ballot and shall be printed above or at the side of the names of candidates so as to indicate clearly the candidates for each office and the number to be elected. In case there are more candidates for an office than can be printed in one (1) column, the ballot shall be clearly marked that the list of candidates is continued on the following column. The names of candidates for each office shall be printed in vertical columns, grouped by the offices that they seek. In partisan elections, the party designation of each candidate, which may be abbreviated, shall be printed following his or her name.
One (1) sample ballot, which shall be a facsimile of the official ballot and instructions to the voters, shall be provided for each precinct and shall be posted in each polling place on election day.
A separate ballot security envelope or suitable equivalent in which the voter can place his or her ballot after voting, shall be provided to conceal the choices the voter has made. Absentee voters will receive a similar ballot security envelope provided by the county in which the absentee voter will insert their voted ballot, which then can be inserted into a return envelope to be mailed back to the election official. Absentee ballots will not be required to be folded when a ballot security envelope is provided.

 

§ 23-15-513. Preparation and delivery of necessary forms and supplies; minimum number of ballots to be printed.

(1) The official ballots, sample ballots and other necessary forms and supplies of the forms and description required by this chapter or required for the conduct of elections with an electronic voting system shall be prepared and furnished by the same official, in the same manner and time, and delivered to the same officials as provided by law with respect to paper ballots that are to be counted manually.
(2) For each primary election, the number of official ballots that shall be printed by each executive committee shall be not less than one hundred twenty-five percent (125%) of the highest number of votes cast in a comparable primary election conducted by the same political party in the preceding ten (10) years.
(3) For each general election, the number of official ballots that shall be printed shall be a number equal to not less than sixty percent (60%) of the registered voters eligible to vote in the election.

 

§ 23-15-515. Storage, maintenance, repair and preparation of equipment.

The circuit clerk shall be the custodian of OMR equipment acquired by the county, who shall be charged with the proper storage, maintenance and repair of the OMR equipment. The municipal clerk shall be the custodian of the OMR equipment acquired by the municipality, and shall be charged with the proper storage, maintenance and repair of the OMR equipment. The custodian or the officials in charge of the election shall repair or replace any OMR equipment which fails to function properly on election day.

 

§ 23-15-517. Opening and closing polls; instructing voters; spoiled ballots.

At least one (1) hour before the opening of the polls, the officials in charge of the election shall arrive at the polling place and set up the voting booths so that they will be in clear view of the poll managers; the poll managers shall examine the ballots to verify that they have the correct ballots for their precinct and check the supplies, records and forms, and post the sample ballots and instructions to the voters. They shall also inspect the ballot boxes to ensure they contain only voted absentee ballots in their envelopes with the required applications, and then seal the box for voting.
Each voter shall receive written and/or verbal instructions by the poll managers instructing the voter how to properly vote the paper ballot before the voter enters the voting booth. If any voter needs additional instructions after entering the voting booth, two (2) poll managers may, if necessary, enter the booth and give him or her such additional instructions. If any voter spoils a ballot the voter may obtain others, one (1) at a time, not exceeding three (3) in all, upon returning each spoiled ballot. The word “SPOILED” shall be written across the face of the ballot and it shall be deposited into the sealed ballot box. When the polls close once the last ballot has been cast or at 7:00 p.m., whichever is later, the poll managers shall break the seal on the ballot box to process the absentee ballots. Ballots marked as spoiled shall be bundled together and placed in an envelope designated for spoiled ballots. Once the polls have officially closed, the envelope that contains the spoiled ballots and the unused ballots shall be placed in the ballot box or other container provided for that purpose which shall be sealed and returned to the officials in charge of the election.

 

§ 23-15-519. Ballot accounting report; tamper-evident seals for ballot boxes; seal log; delivery of ballot box; return of records and supplies.

The poll managers shall prepare a ballot accounting report that documents the number of voters who have voted, as indicated by the receipt book and the number of ballots used in the election. The poll managers shall place the report in the ballot box, with the seal logs, receipt books, absentee ballots, affidavit ballots, challenged ballots, curbside ballots, emergency ballots, spoiled ballots and unused ballots, which thereupon shall be sealed with a tamper-evident seal, which is a seal that has been designed in such a way to allow someone to easily detect any tampering, so that no additional ballots may be deposited or removed from the ballot box. The poll managers, while they have possession of the election materials, and the officials in charge of the election, once the poll managers have delivered the ballot box to the counting center or other designated place, shall be required to keep a seal log to document each time a tamper-evident seal for a ballot box is opened or changed. The seal log shall require the name of the person who opened the seal, the old seal number, the new seal number, the date the seal was opened and the purpose for opening the seal. The receiving and returning poll manager shall deliver the ballot box to the counting center or other designated place and receive a signed, numbered receipt therefor. The poll books and other records and supplies shall be returned as directed by the officials in charge of the election. Failure to strictly comply with the provisions of this section shall not result in a presumption of fraud.

 

§ 23-15-521. Testing of OMR equipment.

Before counting the ballots, the election commissioners, or their designees, shall have the OMR equipment tested to ascertain that it will accurately count the votes cast for all offices and on all measures. Representatives of the political parties, candidates, the press and the general public may witness the test conducted on the OMR equipment. The test shall be conducted by processing a preaudited group of ballots so marked as to record a predetermined number of valid votes for each candidate and on each measure, and shall include for each office one or more ballots that have votes in excess of the number allowed by law in order to test the ability of the OMR equipment to reject such votes. If any error is detected, the cause of the error shall be ascertained and corrected and an errorless count shall be made and certified to by the officials in charge before the count is started. On completion of the count, the programs, test materials and ballots shall be sealed and retained as provided for paper ballots.

 

§ 23-15-523. Counting vote.

(1) All proceedings at the counting center shall be under the direction of the election commissioners or officials in charge of the election, and shall be conducted under the observations of the public, but no persons except those authorized for the purpose shall touch any ballot. All persons who are engaged in processing and counting of the ballots shall take the oath provided in Section 268, Mississippi Constitution of 1890.
(2) The election commissioners or the officials in charge of the election shall appoint qualified electors who have received the training required by subsection (11) of this section to serve as members of the “resolution board.” An odd number of not less than three (3) members shall be appointed to the resolution board. The members of the board shall take the oath provided in Section 268, Mississippi Constitution of 1890. All ballots that have been rejected by the OMR equipment and that are damaged or defective, blank or overvoted will be reviewed by the board. Election commissioners, candidates who are on the ballot and the spouse, parents, siblings or children of such a candidate shall not be appointed to the resolution board. In general and special elections, members of the party executive committees shall not be appointed to the resolution board unless members of all of the party executive committees who have a candidate on the ballot are appointed to the resolution board.
(3)

(a) If any ballot is damaged or defective so that it cannot be properly counted by the OMR equipment, the ballot will be deposited in an envelope provided for that purpose marked “RESOLUTION BOARD.” All such ballots shall be carefully handled so as to avoid altering, removing or adding any mark on the ballot.
(b) The election commissioners or the officials in charge of the election shall have the members of the resolution board ascertain the intent of the voter, if possible, and, if so, manually count any damaged or defective ballots.
(c) The resolution board shall prepare a duplicate to the damaged or defective ballot in the following manner:

(i) The resolution board shall prepare a duplicate to the original damaged or defective ballot marked identically to the original.
(ii) The resolution board shall mark the first original they examine as “Original #1” and the duplicate of this original as “Duplicate #1.” Later originals and duplicates shall be likewise marked and numbered consecutively so the duplicate of each original can be identified. Duplicate ballots shall be stamped in a different manner from the original ballots so that they may be easily distinguished from the originals.
(iii) The duplicate ballots prepared pursuant to this paragraph shall be counted by the OMR equipment.

(4) The resolution board shall examine ballots that have been rejected by the OMR equipment for appearing to be “blank” to verify if they are blank or were marked with a “nondetectable” marking device. If it is determined that the ballot was marked with a nondetectable device, the resolution board shall prepare a duplicate to the original blank ballot in the same manner and in accordance with the same process provided in subsection (3)(c).
(5) All ballots that are rejected by the OMR equipment and that contain overvotes shall be inspected by the resolution board. Regarding those rejected ballots upon which an overvote appears, if the voter intent cannot be determined by the resolution board, the officials in charge of the election may use the OMR equipment in determining the vote in the races that are unaffected by the overvote. All other ballots that are overvoted shall be counted manually following the provisions of this section at the direction of the officials in charge of the election. The return printed by the OMR equipment to which have been added the manually tallied ballots, which shall be duly certified by the officials in charge of the election, shall constitute the official return of each voting precinct. Unofficial and incomplete returns may be released during the count. Upon the completion of the counting, the official returns shall be open to the public.
(6) When the resolution board reviews any OMR ballot in which the voter has failed to fill in the arrow, oval, circle or square for a candidate or a ballot measure, the resolution board shall, if the intent of the voter can be ascertained, count the vote if:

(a) The voter marks the ballot with a “cross” (X) or “checkmark” ( ) and the lines that form the mark intersect within or on the line of the arrow, oval, circle or square by the ballot measure or the name of the candidate.
(b) The voter blackens the arrow, oval, circle or square adjacent to the ballot measure or the name of the candidate in pencil or ink and the blackened portion extends beyond the boundaries of the arrow, oval, circle or square.
(c) The voter marks the ballot with a “cross” (X) or “checkmark” ( ) and the lines that form the mark intersect adjacent to the ballot measure or the name of the candidate.
(d) The voter underlines the ballot measure or the name of a candidate.
(e) The voter draws a line from the arrow, oval, circle or square to a ballot measure or the name of a candidate.
(f) The voter draws a circle or oval around the ballot measure or the name of the candidate.
(g) The voter draws a circle or oval around the arrow, oval, circle or square adjacent to the ballot measure or the name of the candidate.

(7) The resolution board, when inspecting an OMR ballot that contains or appears to contain one or more overvotes, appears to be damaged or defective, or is rejected by the OMR equipment for any reason or cannot be counted by the OMR equipment, shall make its determination in accordance with the following:

(a) When an elector casts more votes for any office or measure than he or she is entitled to cast at an election, all the elector’s votes for that office or measure are invalid and the elector is deemed to have voted for none of them. If an elector casts less votes for any office or measure than he or she is entitled to cast at an election, all votes cast by the elector shall be counted but no vote shall be counted more than once.
(b) If an elector casts more than one (1) vote for the same candidate for the same office, the first vote is valid and the remaining votes for that candidate are invalid.
(c) No write-in vote for a candidate whose name is printed on the ballot shall be regarded as invalid due to misspelling a candidate’s name, or by abbreviation, addition or omission or use of a wrong initial in the name, as long as the intent of the voter can be ascertained.
(d) In any case where a voter writes in the name of a candidate for President of the United States whose name is printed on the general election ballot, the failure by the voter to write in the name of a candidate for the Office of Vice President of the United States on the general election ballot does not invalidate the elector’s vote for the slate of electors for any candidate whose name is written in for the Office of President of the United States.
(e) For any ballot measure in which the words “for” or “against” are printed on a ballot, if the voter shall write the word “for” or the word “against” instead of or in addition to marking the ballot in accordance with the ballot instruction in the space adjacent to the preprinted words “for” or “against,” the resolution board shall, in reviewing such ballot, count the vote in accordance with the voter’s handwritten preference, unless the voter marks the ballot in the space adjacent to the preprinted words “for” or “against” contrary to the handwritten preference, in which case no vote shall be recorded for such ballot in regard to the ballot measure.
(f) For any ballot measure in which the words “yes” or “no” are printed on a ballot, if the voter shall write the word “yes” or the word “no” instead of or in addition to marking the ballot in accordance with the ballot instructions in the space adjacent to the preprinted words “yes” or “no,” the resolution board shall, in reviewing such ballot, count the vote in accordance with the voter’s handwritten preference, unless the voter marks the ballot in the space adjacent to the preprinted words “yes” or “no” contrary to the handwritten preference, in which case no vote shall be recorded for such ballot in regard to the ballot measure.

(8) OMR equipment shall be programmed, calibrated, adjusted and set up to reject ballots that appear to be damaged or defective. Any switch, lever or feature on OMR equipment that enables or permits the OMR equipment to override the rejection of damaged or defective ballots so that such ballots will not be reviewed by the resolution board, shall not be used.
(9) Ballots shall be manually counted by the resolution board only when the ballots are:

(a) Properly before the resolution board due to being rejected by the OMR equipment because the ballots appear to be damaged or defective or are rejected by the OMR equipment for any other reason; or
(b) Properly before the resolution board due to a malfunction in the OMR equipment.

(10) The resolution board shall make and keep a record regarding the handling and counting of all ballots inspected under this section.
(11) The executive committee of each county or municipality, in the case of a primary election, or the election commissioners of each county or municipality, in the case of all other elections, in conjunction with the circuit or municipal clerk respectively, shall sponsor and conduct, a training session for up to two (2) hours, not less than five (5) days before each election, to instruct those qualified electors who are appointed to serve as members of the resolution board as to their specific duties in the election. No member appointed to serve on the resolution board shall serve in any election unless he or she has received such instruction once during the twelve (12) months immediately preceding the date upon which the election is held. Online training courses developed by the Secretary of State, though not sponsored or conducted by the executive committee or the election commissioners, may be used to meet the requirements of this subsection (11).

 

§ 23-15-525. Authority of Secretary of State and election commissioners for the safe and efficient use of OMR equipment; resolution board for rejected ballots.

(1) The Secretary of State shall have the power to issue supplementary instructions and procedures for the safe and efficient use of OMR equipment within the State of Mississippi and to carry out the purpose of the chapter. Subject to such instructions and procedures provided by the Secretary of State and the provisions of this chapter, the election commissioners shall have the power to make additional provisions for the conduct of elections with the OMR equipment.
(2) If for any reason the OMR equipment shall become inoperable, the poll managers shall direct voters to operating OMR equipment or to cast emergency paper ballots. The paper ballots shall be administered in accordance with the laws concerning paper ballots.

 

SUBARTICLE E. DIRECT RECORDING ELECTRONIC VOTING EQUIPMENT (DRE)

§ 23-15-531. Direct recording electronic voting equipment (DRE unit) defined.

“Direct recording electronic voting equipment (DRE unit)” means a computer driven unit for casting and counting votes on which an elector touches a video screen or a button adjacent to a video screen to cast his or her vote.

 

§ 23-15-531.1. Minimum requirements DRE systems must meet to be used in elections.

(1) The board of supervisors of each county and the governing authorities of each municipality are hereby authorized and empowered, in their discretion, to purchase or rent DRE units that meets the requirements of subsection (2) of this section and may use such system in all or a part of the precincts within its boundaries. The provisions of this chapter shall be controlling with respect to elections in which a DRE unit is used, and shall be liberally construed so as to carry out the purpose of this chapter. The provisions of the election law relating to the conduct of elections with paper ballots, insofar as they are applicable, shall apply.
(2) No DRE unit shall be acquired or used in accordance with this chapter unless it shall:

(a) Permit the voter to verify, in a private and independent manner, the votes selected by the voter on the ballot before the ballot is cast and counted;

(b) Provide the voter with the opportunity, in a private and independent manner, to change the ballot or correct any error before the ballot is cast and counted, including, but not limited to, the opportunity to correct the error through the issuance of a replacement ballot if the voter is otherwise unable to change the ballot or correct any error;
(c) If the voter votes for more candidates for a single office than are eligible for election:

(i) Notify the voter that he or she has selected more candidates for that office than are eligible for election;
(ii) Notify the voter before his or her vote is cast and counted of the effect of casting multiple votes for such an office; and
(iii) Provide the voter with the opportunity to correct the ballot before the ballot is cast and counted;

(d) Produce a permanent paper record with a manual audit capability;
(e) Have the capability to print the ballots cast by electors;
(f) Be accessible for individuals with disabilities, including, but not limited to, nonvisual accessibility for the blind and visually impaired, in a manner that provides the same opportunity for access and participation, including privacy and independence, as for other voters. This requirement may be satisfied through the use of at least one (1) DRE unit or other voting unit equipped for individuals with disabilities at each polling place;
(g) Provide alternative language accessibility pursuant to the requirements of the Voting Rights Act of 1965; and
(h) Have a residual vote rate in counting ballots attributable to the voting system and not to voter error that complies with error rate standards established under the voting system standards issued by the Federal Election Commission in effect as of October 29, 2002.

 

§ 23-15-531.2. Manner in which DRE units must be arranged at polling places.

DRE units shall be arranged in the polling place in such a manner as to:

(a) Ensure the privacy of the elector while voting on the units;
(b) Allow monitoring of the units by the poll managers while the polls are open; and
(c) Permit the public and lawful poll watchers to observe the voting without affecting the privacy of the electors as they vote.

 

§ 23-15-531.3. Form of ballot; requirements where color display is used.

(1) The ballots for DRE units shall be of such size and arrangement as will suit the construction of the DRE screen and shall be in plain, clear type that is easily readable by persons with normal vision.
(2)

(a) If the DRE unit has the capacity for color display, the names of all candidates in a particular race shall be displayed in the same color, font and size, and the political party or affiliation of candidates may be displayed in a color different from that used to display the names of the candidates, but all political parties or affiliations shall be displayed in the same color. All political party names shall be displayed in the same size and font.
(b) All ballot questions, local options, referenda and constitutional amendments shall be displayed in the same color.

 

§ 23-15-531.4. Circuit clerk to be custodian of county DRE units; municipal clerk to be custodian of municipal DRE units.

(1) The circuit clerk shall be the custodian of the DRE units acquired by the county and shall be charged with the proper storage, maintenance and repair of the county’s DRE units.
(2) The municipal clerk shall be the custodian of the DRE unit acquired by the municipality, and shall be charged with the proper storage, maintenance and repair of the DRE unit.
(3) The custodian shall provide compensation for the safe storage and care of the DRE units and related equipment if the same are stored and secured by a person or entity other than the circuit or municipal clerk.

§ 23-15-531.5. Arrangement of offices, names of candidates and ballot questions on DRE ballots; creation of database for DRE units.

(1) The arrangement of offices, names of candidates and ballot questions upon the DRE ballots shall conform as nearly as practicable to the arrangement of offices, names of candidates and ballot questions on paper ballots.
(2) The officials in charge of the election of each county or municipality shall cause thecreation of the database for each DRE unit that is to be used in any precinct within the county or municipality.

 

§ 23-15-531.6. Minimum number of machines to be used; officials to ensure delivery of proper DRE units to polling places at least one hour before polls open; each unit to be tested, inspected and sealed prior to delivery to polling place; memory cards and encoders to be tested; protection against molestation of or injury to DRE units; preparation of DRE units for voting.

(1) For each primary or general election, the officials in charge of the election shall use at least seventy-five percent (75%) of all DRE units available to the county or municipality, as the case may be. For all other elections in which the officials in charge of the election choose to use DRE units, at least one-third (1/3) of all DRE units available to the county or municipality, as the case may be, shall be used in such elections
(2) The officials in charge of the election shall ensure the delivery of the proper DRE units to the polling places of the respective precincts at least one (1) hour before the time for opening the polls at each election and shall cause each unit to be set up in the proper manner for use in voting.
(3)

(a) On or before the second day before any election, the officials in charge of the conduct of the election shall cause each DRE unit to be tested for logic and accuracy to ascertain that the units will correctly count the votes cast for all offices and on all questions, in a manner the Secretary of State may further prescribe by rule or regulation.
(b) Public notice of the time and place of the test shall be made at least five (5) days before the date of the test. Candidates, representatives of candidates, political parties, news media and the public shall be permitted to observe the testing of the DRE units.

(4) The officials in charge of the conduct of the election shall test all memory cards and encoders to be used in any election.
(5) The officials in charge of the election shall require that each DRE unit be inspected and sealed before the delivery of each DRE unit to the polling place. Before opening the polls each day on which the DRE units will be used in an election, the poll manager shall break the seal on each unit, turn on each unit, certify that each unit is operating properly and is set to zero, and print a zero tape certifying that each unit is set to zero and shall keep or record such certification on each unit.
(6) The officials in charge of the election, election commissioners and poll managers shall provide ample protection against molestation of and injury to the DRE units, and, for that purpose, the officials in charge of the election, election commissioners and poll managers may call upon any law enforcement officer to furnish any assistance that may be necessary. It shall be the duty of any law enforcement officer to furnish assistance when so requested by the officials in charge of the election, election commissioner or poll manager.
(7) The officials in charge of the election, in conjunction with the governing authorities, shall, at least one (1) hour before opening the polls:

(a) Provide sufficient lighting to enable electors to read the ballot and to enable poll managers to examine the booth and conduct their responsibilities;
(b) Provide directions for voting on the DRE units that shall be prominently posted within each voting booth and provide at least one (1) sample ballot for each primary or general election shall be prominently posted outside the enclosed space within the polling place;
(c) Ensure that each DRE unit and its tabulating mechanism is secure throughout the day; and
(d) Provide such other materials and supplies as may be necessary or required by law.

 

§ 23-15-531.7. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 441, § 197, effective July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-531.7. [Laws, 2005, ch. 534, § 8, eff June 6, 2005 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the addition of this section.)]

§ 23-15-531.8. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 441, § 198, effective July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-531.8. [Laws, 2005, ch. 534, § 9, eff June 6, 2005 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the addition of this section.)]

§ 23-15-531.9. Manner in which elector to vote on DRE unit; voiding of ballots in certain instances when elector does not complete voting process.

(1) A duly qualified elector shall cast his or her vote on a DRE unit by touching the screen or pressing the appropriate button on the DRE unit for the candidate or ballot measure of the elector’s choice. After pressing the appropriate button on the DRE unit or location on the screen to cast the ballot, the elector’s vote shall be final and shall not be subsequently altered.

(2) If an elector leaves the voting booth without having pressed the appropriate button on the DRE unit or location on the screen to finally cast his or her ballot and cannot be located to return to the booth to complete the voting process, then a poll manager shall take the steps necessary to void the ballot that was not completed by the elector and an appropriate record shall be made of the event, or the DRE unit shall be allowed to time-out, thereby voiding the ballot.

 

§ 23-15-531.10. Counting votes and determining results in elections conducted with DREs.

(1) In elections in which DRE units are used, the ballots shall be counted at the precinct under the direction of the officials in charge of the election. All persons who perform any duties at the precinct shall take the oath provided in Section 268, Mississippi Constitution of 1890 and only those persons shall touch any ballot, container, paper or machine used in the conduct of the count or be permitted in the immediate area where the ballots are counted.
(2) All proceedings at the precincts shall be open to the view of the public, but no person except one employed and designated for the purpose by the officials in charge of the election shall touch any ballot, any DRE unit or the tabulating equipment.
(3) After the polls have closed and all voting in the precinct has ceased, the poll manager shall shut down the DRE units and extract the election results from each unit as follows:

(a) The poll manager shall obtain the results tape from each DRE unit and verify that the number of ballots cast as recorded on the tape matches the public count number as displayed on the DRE unit; and
(b) The poll manager shall extract the memory card, if applicable, from each DRE unit.

(4)

(a) Upon completion of shutting down each DRE unit and extracting the election results, the poll manager shall cause to be completed and signed a ballot recap form, in sufficient counterparts, showing:

(i) The number of valid ballots;

(ii) The number of spoiled ballots;
(iii) The number of affidavit ballots;
(iv) The number of accepted and rejected absentee ballots;
(v) The number of challenged and rejected ballots; and
(vi) The number of unused paper ballots.

(b) The poll manager shall cause to be placed in the ballot box or supply container, should the supply container be capable of being sealed and secured, one (1) copy of the recap form, affidavit ballots, absentee ballots, spoiled ballots, challenged and rejected ballots and any unused paper ballots.

(5) The poll manager shall collect and retain the zero tape and the results tape for each DRE unit and place the tapes with the memory card, if any, for each unit and enclose all such items for all of the DRE units used in the precinct in the memory card transport bag which shall be sealed and initialed by the poll manager so that it cannot be opened without breaking the seal. The memory card transport bag shall be placed in the ballot box.
(6) The receiving and returning poll manager shall then deliver the sealed ballot box to the tabulating center for the county or municipality or to such other place designated by the officials in charge of the election and shall receive a receipt therefor. The copies of the recap forms, unused ballots, records and other materials shall be returned to the designated location and retained as provided by law.
(7) Upon receipt of the sealed ballot box and memory card transport bag that contains the zero tapes, results tapes and memory cards, the officials in charge of the election shall break the seal of the memory card transport bag and remove its contents. The officials in charge of the election shall then download the results stored on the memory card from each DRE unit into the election management system located at the central tabulation point of the county in order to obtain election results for certification.

 

§ 23-15-531.11. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 441, § 199, effective July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-531.11. [Laws, 2005, ch. 534, § 12, eff June 6, 2005 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the addition of this section.)]

§ 23-15-531.12. Emergency paper ballots to be cast if DRE unit becomes inoperable.

If for any reason any DRE unit shall become inoperable, the poll managers, or the officials in charge of the election, shall direct voters to an operating DRE unit or to cast emergency paper ballots. Such paper ballots shall be administered in accordance with the laws concerning paper ballots.

 

§ 23-15-531.13. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2016, ch. 430, § 22, effective from and after January 1, 2017
§ 23-15-531.13. [Laws, 2005, ch. 534, § 14, eff June 6, 2005 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the addition of this section.)]

 

ARTICLE 17. CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS

 

SUBARTICLE A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

§ 23-15-541. Hours polls to be open; designation and duties of initialing poll manager and alternate initialing poll manager; curbside voting authorized for certain individuals; procedure.

(1) At all elections, the polls shall be opened promptly at 7:00 a.m. and be kept open until the last qualified voter, who was standing in line at the polling place at 7:00 p.m., has cast his or her ballot, or 7:00 p.m., whichever is later. One (1) hour before opening the polls, and not before, the poll managers shall designate two (2) of their number, other than the poll manager who was designated as the receiving and returning poll manager, who shall be known respectively as the initialing poll manager and the alternate initialing poll manager. The alternate initialing poll manager, in the absence of the initialing poll manager, shall perform all of the duties and undertake all of the responsibilities of the initialing poll manager. When any person entitled to vote shall appear to vote, the poll managers shall locate the name of the voter in the pollbook, identify the voter by requiring the voter to submit acceptable photo identification as required by Section 23-15-563, and then allow the voter to sign his or her name in a receipt book or booklet provided for that purpose and to be used at that election only. After the voter has signed the receipt book or booklet, the initialing poll manager or, in his or her absence, the alternate initialing poll manager shall endorse his or her initials on the back of an official blank ballot, prepared in accordance with law, and at such place on the back of the ballot that the initials may be seen after the ballot has been marked and folded, and when so endorsed he or she shall deliver it to the voter, which ballot the voter shall mark in the manner provided by law, which when done the voter shall deliver the ballot to the initialing poll manager or, in his or her absence, to the alternate initialing poll manager, in the presence of the others, and the poll manager shall see that the ballot so delivered bears on the back thereof the genuine initials of the initialing poll manager, or alternate initialing poll manager, and if so, but not otherwise, the ballot shall be put into the ballot box; and when so done one (1) of the poll managers shall mark the pollbook “VOTED” across from the name of the voter and in the appropriate column. If the voter is unable to write his or her name on the receipt book, a poll manager shall note on the back of the ballot that it was receipted for by the poll manager’s assistance.
(2) A poll manager shall be authorized to allow a physically disabled person to vote curbside during the hours in which the polls are open as described in this section.

(a) Where the poll managers of an election, exercising their sound discretion, determine that a physically disabled person has arrived at the polls in a motor vehicle to vote, two (2) poll managers shall carry the pollbook, the receipt book, and a ballot or voting device to the motor vehicle. After determining the disabled person is a qualified elector as provided by law by locating the disabled elector’s name in the pollbook, the poll managers shall identify the disabled elector by requiring the elector to submit acceptable photo identification as required by Section 23-15-563 and then allow the elector to sign his or her name in the receipt book and cast his or her ballot in secret. To ensure the secrecy of the vote of the disabled elector, other passengers in the motor vehicle, except the disabled elector and any other disabled persons in the motor vehicle, shall exit the motor vehicle until the disabled elector has completed the casting of his or her ballot. After the disabled elector casts his or her ballot, the poll managers shall mark “VOTED” by the elector’s name and in the appropriate column in the pollbook.
(b) If the ballot that is provided to the disabled elector is a paper ballot, the initialing poll manager shall initial the ballot as provided by law, and the disabled elector, after marking his or her ballot shall fold the ballot or place it in the ballot sleeve. The initialing poll manager or alternate initialing poll manager shall determine whether the initials on the ballot are genuine, and upon a determination that the initials are genuine, mark “VOTED” by the elector’s name and in the appropriate column in the pollbook. The initialing poll manager or alternate initialing poll manager shall without delay place the ballot in the ballot box.
(c) If, while a voter is voting by curbside, there are less than three (3) poll managers immediately present within the polling place conducting an election, all voting at the polls shall stop until the poll managers conducting the curbside voting return to the polls so that there are at least three (3) poll managers immediately present within the polling place to conduct the election, and until a minimum of three (3) poll managers are present, the remaining poll manager or poll managers shall ensure the security of the ballot box, the voting devices, and any ballots and election materials.

(3) Nothing in this section shall prevent a voter from requesting voter assistance as provided in Section 23-15-549.

 

§ 23-15-543. Receipt booklet to be kept in polling place, except during adjournment, until enclosed in ballot box.

The receipt booklet, mentioned in Section 23-15-541, shall not be taken out of the polling place at any time until finally enclosed in the ballot box, except in case of any adjournment, when the receipt book shall be sealed in the ballot box.

 

§ 23-15-545. Entries in pollbook.

At each election, at least one (1) poll manager shall be charged with writing in the pollbook the word “VOTED,” in the column having at its head the date of the election, opposite the name of each elector upon return of a marked paper ballot by the elector with the initials of the initialing poll manager or alternate initialing poll manager affixed thereon. When a DRE unit is used in the polling place, the word “VOTED” shall be marked by at least one (1) poll manager in the pollbook in the column having at its head the date of the election, opposite the name of the elector.

 

§ 23-15-547. Electronic capture of voters’ signatures; paper version may be generated after polls close.

Instead of placing the signatures of voters in a paper receipt book, the signatures of voters may be electronically captured in the polling place and a paper version of the signatures of voters may be generated after the close of the polling place, which shall be sealed in the ballot box.

 

§ 23-15-549. Assistance to voter.

Any voter who declares to the poll managers of the election that he or she requires assistance to vote by reason of blindness, disability or inability to read or write may be given assistance by a person of the voter’s choice, except that voter assistance shall not be provided by a candidate whose name is on the ballot, or by a spouse, parent, sibling or child of a candidate whose name is on the ballot, or by a poll watcher who is observing the polling place on election day, or the voter’s employer, or agent of that employer, or officer or agent of the voter’s union; however, a candidate for public office or the spouse, parent or child of a candidate may provide assistance upon request of any voter who is related within the first degree.

 

§ 23-15-551. Marking and casting ballot; who may be present in polling room.

On receiving his or her ballot, the voter shall go without undue delay into one (1) of the voting compartments and shall there prepare his or her ballot by marking with ink or indelible pencil on the appropriate margin or place a cross (X) opposite the name of the candidate of his or her choice for each office or by writing in the name of a candidate in the blank space provided, and marking a cross (X) opposite thereto, and likewise a cross (X) opposite the answer he or she desires to give in case of an election on a constitutional amendment, local option election, referenda or any other question or matter. As an alternative method, a voter may, at his or her option, prepare a ballot by marking with ink or indelible pencil in the appropriate margin or place a check, in the form of and similar to a “V”, opposite the name of the candidate of his or her choice for each office or by writing in the name of a candidate in the blank space provided and marking a check in the form of and similar to a “V”, opposite thereto, and likewise a check, in the form of and similar to a “V”, opposite the answer he or she desires to give in case of an election on a constitutional amendment, local option election, referenda or other question or matter, either of which methods of marking, whether by a cross (X) or by a check in the form of and similar to a “V”, is authorized. Before leaving the voting compartment, the voter shall fold his or her ballot without displaying its markings, but so that the words “OFFICIAL BALLOT,” followed by the designation of the voting precinct and the date of the election, shall be visible to the poll managers, then deposit his or her ballot directly into the ballot box. This shall be done without undue delay, and as soon as the voter has voted he or she shall promptly exit the polling place. A voter shall not be allowed to occupy a voting compartment already occupied by another voter, nor any compartment longer than ten (10) minutes, if other voters are not waiting, nor longer than five (5) minutes if other voters are waiting. A person shall not be allowed in the room in which the ballot boxes, compartments, tables and shelves are, except the officers of the election, and those appointed by them to assist therein, and those authorized by Section 23-15-577.

 

§ 23-15-553. Ballots not to be removed before close of polls; procedure regarding spoiled ballots when polls close.

A person shall not take or remove any ballot from the polling place before the close of the polls. If any voter spoils a ballot he or she may obtain others, one (1) at a time, not exceeding three (3) in all, upon returning each spoiled ballot. The word “SPOILED” shall be written across the face of the ballot and each ballot shall be deposited into the sealed ballot box. When the polls have closed upon the casting of the last ballot or 7:00 p.m., whichever is later, and the poll managers break the seal on the ballot box to begin closing procedures, those ballots marked as “SPOILED” shall be bundled together and placed in a separate strong envelope provided for spoiled ballots. The envelope containing all spoiled ballots shall be sealed in the ballot box once the poll managers have completed the closing procedures and returned the materials to the officials in charge of the election.

 

§ 23-15-555. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2016, ch. 430, § 22, effective from and after January 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-555. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-5-159 [Codes, 1892, § 3668; 1906, § 4175; Hemingway’s 1917, § 6809; 1930, § 6245; 1942, § 3274; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 335]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 177, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]

§ 23-15-557. Municipality’s authority to establish precincts and polling places.

The governing authorities of any municipality within the State of Mississippi are hereby authorized and empowered, in their discretion, to divide the municipality into a sufficient number of voting precincts of such size and location as is necessary, and there shall be the same number of polling places. The authority conducting an election shall not be required, however, to establish a polling place in each of said precincts, but such election authorities, whether in a primary or in a general election, may locate and establish such polling places, without regard to precinct lines, in such manner as in the discretion of such authority will better accommodate the electorate and better facilitate the holding of the election.

 

§ 23-15-559. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 430, § 200, effective from and after July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-559. [Derived from 1972 Code § 21-11-23 [Codes, 1942, §§ 3374-68, 3374-11; Laws,
1950, ch. 491, §§ 68, 111; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 329]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495,
§ 179, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]

 

§ 23-15-561. Penalties for unlawful lottery.

(1) It shall be unlawful during any primary or any other election for any candidate for any elective office or any representative of such candidate or any other person to publicly or privately put up or in any way offer any prize, cash award or other item of value to be raffled, drawn for, played for or contested for in order to encourage persons to vote or to refrain from voting in any election.
(2) Any person who shall violate the provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine in an amount not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00).
(3) Any candidate who shall violate the provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall, upon conviction thereof, in addition to the fine prescribed above, be punished by:

(a) Disqualification as a candidate in the race for the elective office; or
(b) Removal from the elective office, if the offender has been elected thereto.

 

§ 23-15-563. Qualified elector required to provide identification before voting; kinds of identification; voting by affidavit ballot.

(1) Each person who appears to vote in person at a polling place or the registrar’s office shall be required to identify himself or herself to a poll manager or the registrar by presenting current and valid photo identification before such person shall be allowed to vote.
(2) The identification required by subsection (1) of this section shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(a) A current and valid Mississippi driver’s license;
(b) A current and valid identification card issued by a branch, department, agency or entity of the State of Mississippi;
(c) A current and valid United States passport;
(d) A current and valid employee identification card containing a photograph of the elector and issued by any branch, department, agency or entity of the United States government, the State of Mississippi, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of this state;
(e) A current and valid Mississippi license to carry a pistol or revolver;
(f) A valid tribal identification card containing a photograph of the elector;
(g) A current and valid United States military identification card;
(h) A current and valid student identification card, containing a photograph of the elector, issued by any accredited college, university or community or junior college in the State of Mississippi; and
(i) An official Mississippi voter identification card containing a photograph of the elector.

(3)

(a) A person who appears to vote in person at a polling place and does not have identification as required by this section may vote by affidavit ballot. The affidavit ballot shall then be counted if the person shall present acceptable photo identification to the registrar within five (5) days.
(b) An elector who has a religious objection to being photographed may vote by affidavit ballot, and the elector, within five (5) days after the election, shall execute an affidavit in the registrar’s office affirming that the exemption applies.

(4) The intentional failure of an election official to require a voter to present identification as required by this section shall be considered corrupt conduct under Section 97-13-19 and shall be reported to the Secretary of State and the Attorney General.

SUBARTICLE B. AFFIDAVIT BALLOTS AND CHALLENGED BALLOTS

§ 23-15-571. Challenge to voter qualifications.

(1) The following persons shall be designated as authorized challengers and shall be allowed to challenge the qualifications of any person offering to vote:

(a) Any candidate whose name is on the ballot in the precinct in which the challenge is made;
(b) Any official poll watcher of a candidate whose name is on the ballot in the precinct in which the challenge is made;
(c) Any official poll watcher of a political party for the precinct in which the challenge is made;
(d) Any qualified elector from the precinct in which the challenge is made; or
(e) Any poll manager or poll worker in the polling place where the person whose qualifications are challenged is offering to vote.

(2) The challenge of any authorized challenger shall be considered and acted upon by the poll managers of the election.
(3) A person offering to vote may be challenged upon the following grounds:

(a) That the voter is not a registered voter in the precinct;
(b) That the voter is not the registered voter under whose name the voter has applied to vote;
(c) That the voter has already voted in the election;
(d) That the voter is not a resident in the precinct where the voter is registered;
(e) That the voter has illegally registered to vote;
(f) That the voter has removed his or her ballot from the polling place; or
(g) That the voter is otherwise disqualified by law.

 

§ 23-15-573. Certain persons not to vote except by affidavit ballot; form of affidavit ballot envelope; procedure after voting by affidavit ballot when acceptable photo identification was not presented.

(1) If any person declares that he or she is a registered voter in the jurisdiction in which he or she offers to vote and that he or she is eligible to vote in the election, but his or her name does not appear upon the pollbooks, or that he or she is not able to cast a regular election day ballot under a  provision of state or federal law but is otherwise qualified to vote, or that he or she has been illegally denied registration, or that he or she is unable to present an acceptable form of photo identification:

(a) A poll manager shall notify the person that he or she may cast an affidavit ballot at the election.
(b) The person shall be permitted to cast an affidavit ballot at the polling place upon execution of a written affidavit before one (1) of the poll managers stating that the individual:

(i) Believes he or she is a registered voter in the jurisdiction in which he or she desires to vote and is eligible to vote in the election; or
(ii) Is not able to cast a regular election day ballot under a provision of state or federal law but is otherwise qualified to vote; or
(iii) Believes that he or she has been illegally denied registration; or
(iv) Is unable to present an acceptable form of photo identification.

(c) The poll manager shall allow the individual to mark a paper ballot properly endorsed by the initialing poll manager or alternate initialing poll manager in accordance with Section 23-15-541, which shall be delivered by him or her to the proper election official who shall enclose it in an affidavit ballot envelope, with the written and signed affidavit of the voter affixed to the envelope, seal the envelope and mark plainly upon it the name of the person offering to vote.

(2) The affidavit ballot envelope shall include:

(a) The complete name of the voter;
(b) A present and previous physical and mailing address of the voter;
(c) Telephone numbers where the voter may be contacted;
(d) A statement that the affiant believes he or she is registered to vote in the jurisdiction in which he or she offers to vote;
(e) The signature of the affiant; and
(f) The signature of the poll manager at the polling place at which the affiant offers to vote.

(3)

(a) A separate receipt book shall be maintained for affidavit voters and the affidavit
voters shall sign the receipt book upon completing the affidavit ballot.
(b) If the affidavit voter is casting an affidavit ballot because the voter is unable to present an acceptable form of photo identification and the voter’s name appears in the pollbook, then the poll manager shall write “NO ID” across from the voter’s name and in the appropriate column in the pollbook.
(c) In canvassing the returns of the election, the executive committee in primary elections, or the election commissioners in other elections, shall examine the records and allow the ballot to be counted, or not counted as it appears legal.
(d) An affidavit ballot of a voter who was unable to present an acceptable form of photo identification shall not be rejected for this reason if the voter does either of the following:

(i) Returns to the circuit clerk’s office, or to the municipal clerk’s office for municipal elections, within five (5) business days after the date of the election and presents an acceptable form of photo identification;
(ii) Returns to the circuit clerk’s office within five (5) business days after the date of the election to obtain the Mississippi Voter Identification Card, or in municipal election, returns to the municipal clerk’s office within five (5) business days after the date of the election to present his or her Mississippi Voter Identification Card or Temporary Mississippi Voter Identification Card; or
(iii) Returns to the circuit clerk’s office, or to the municipal clerk’s office for municipal elections, within five (5) business days after the date of the election to execute a separate Affidavit of Religious Objection.

(4) When a person is offered the opportunity to vote by affidavit ballot, he or she shall be provided with written information that informs the person how to ascertain whether his or her affidavit ballot was counted and, if the vote was not counted, the reasons the vote was not counted.
(5) The officials in charge of the election shall process all affidavit ballots by using the Statewide Elections Management System. The officials in charge of the election shall account for all affidavit ballots cast in each election, categorizing the affidavit ballots cast by reason and recording the total number of affidavit ballots counted and not counted in each such category in the Statewide Elections Management System.
(6) The Secretary of State shall, by rule duly adopted, establish a uniform affidavit ballot envelope that shall be used in all elections in this state. The Secretary of State shall print and distribute a sufficient number of affidavit ballot envelopes to the registrar of each county for use in elections. The registrar shall distribute the affidavit ballot envelopes to municipal and county executive committees for use in primary elections and to municipal and county election commissioners for use in all other elections.
(7) County registrars and municipal registrars shall maintain a secure free access system that complies with the Help America Vote Act of 2002, by which persons who vote by affidavit ballot may determine if their ballots were counted, and if not, the reasons the ballot was not counted.
(8) Any person who votes in any election as a result of a federal or state court order or other order extending the time established by law for closing the polls on an election day, may only vote by affidavit ballot. Any affidavit ballot cast under this subsection shall be separated and kept apart from other affidavit ballots cast by voters not affected by the order.

 

§ 23-15-574. Modification of affidavit form by Secretary of State.

If the enactment of any state or federal law shall require any modification to the form or language of the affidavit prescribed in Section 23-15-573, then the Secretary of State shall be authorized to promulgate an amended form of the affidavit to comply with the requirements of any such state or federal law, which shall be required to be used in all elections throughout this state.

 

§ 23-15-575. Who may vote in primary election.

No person shall vote or attempt to vote in the primary election of one (1) party when he or she has voted on the same date in the primary election of another party. No person shall vote or attempt to vote in the second primary election of one (1) party when he or she has voted in the first primary election of another party.

 

§ 23-15-577. Presence of credentialed poll watchers and candidates at polling place; presentation of written authorization of candidate or political party by credentialed poll watcher to poll manager; inspection and challenge of qualifications of voter by candidate or credentialed poll watcher; interference in election process by candidates and credentialed poll watchers prohibited.

(1) Each candidate on the ballot shall have the right, either in person or by a credentialed poll watcher, to be present at the polling place. In general and special elections, each political party that has a candidate on the ballot shall have the right to be represented at the polling place by two (2) credentialed poll watchers.
(2) A credentialed poll watcher means a poll watcher of good conduct and behavior, authorized in writing to act as the representative of a candidate on the ballot or political party that has a candidate on the ballot. The written authorization of the candidate or political party must be presented to a poll manager by the certified poll watcher upon arrival at the polling place.
(3) Poll managers shall provide candidates and credentialed poll watchers with a suitable position from which they may be able to clearly see and hear the manner in which the election is held. Candidates and credentialed poll watchers shall be authorized to bring their own pollbooks, whether in a print or electronic form, to the polling place during each general and special election.
(4) Candidates and credentialed poll watchers shall be allowed to challenge the qualifications of any person offering to vote, and their challenge shall be considered and acted upon by the poll managers. However, candidates and credentialed poll watchers shall not be allowed to interfere in the election process, which shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(a) Communicating with any voter;
(b) Physically touching or handling any ballot, absentee ballot envelope, absentee ballot application or affidavit ballot envelope;
(c) Viewing or photographing the pollbooks while at the polling place; or
(d) Photographing the receipt books while at the polling place.

 

§ 23-15-579. Procedure when vote challenged.

(1) All votes, which shall be challenged at the polls, whether the question be raised by a poll manager or another authorized challenger, shall be considered by the poll managers at that time.
(2) When it so clearly appears in the unanimous opinion of the poll managers, either by the admissions or statements of the person challenged or from documentary or oral evidence then presented to the poll managers, that the challenge is well taken, the vote shall be rejected entirely and shall not be counted. In such case, the challenged voter shall mark his or her choices and cast his or her vote by paper ballot. After the ballot has been marked by the challenged voter, it shall be marked by the poll manager on the back “REJECTED” and the name of the voter and the reason the ballot of the challenged voter was rejected shall also be written on the back of the ballot. All rejected ballots shall be placed in the ballot box until the close of the polls at which time, upon the opening of the ballot box, all rejected ballots shall be placed in a separate strong envelope and returned to the box.
(3) When it so clearly appears in the unanimous opinion of the poll managers, either by the admissions or statements of the person challenged or from documentary or oral evidence then presented to the poll managers, that the challenge is frivolous and not made in good faith, the poll managers shall disregard the challenge and the voter shall cast his or her vote as other voters in the polling place as though not challenged.
(4) When it does not so clearly appear whether the challenge is well taken or frivolous and no unanimous decision can be made by the poll managers, the challenged voter shall mark his or her choices and cast his or her vote by paper ballot. After the ballot has been marked by the challenged voter, it shall be marked by the poll managers on the back “CHALLENGED,” and the name of the voter and the reason the challenge of the voter was made shall also be written on the back of the ballot. All challenged ballots shall be placed in the ballot box until the close of the polls at which time, upon the opening of the ballot box, all challenged ballots shall be removed therefrom and separately counted, tallied and totaled with a separate return made of the challenged votes. Challenged ballots shall be placed in a separate strong envelope, and returned to the ballot box.

 

§ 23-15-581. Closing polls, opening ballot box and counting votes.

When the last qualified voter, who was standing in line at the polling place at 7:00 p.m., has cast his or her ballot, or 7:00 p.m., whichever is later, the poll managers shall proclaim that the polls are closed and publicly break the seal and open the ballot box to immediately proceed to count the ballots, at the same time reading aloud the names of the persons voted for, which shall be taken down. During the holding of the election and the counting of the ballots, the whole proceedings shall be in fair and full view of the voting public, candidates or their duly authorized representatives and other authorized poll watchers, without unnecessary interference, delay or encroachment upon the good order of the duties and proceedings of the poll managers and other officers of the election. There shall be no unnecessary delay and no adjournment except as provided by law.

 

SUBARTICLE C. DETERMINING THE RESULTS OF ELECTIONS

§ 23-15-591. Proclamation of results; sealing of ballot box.

When the votes have been completely and correctly counted and tallied by the poll managers they shall publicly proclaim the result of the election at their box and shall certify in duplicate a statement of the result, the certificate to be signed by the poll managers, one (1) of the certificates to be enclosed in the ballot box, and the other to be delivered to and to be kept by one (1) of the poll managers and to be inspected at any time by any voter who so requests. When the count of the votes and the tally of the votes have been completed, the poll managers shall lock and seal the ballot box, having first placed therein all ballots voted, all spoiled ballots and all unused ballots. There shall also be enclosed one (1) of the duplicate receipts given by the poll manager who received the blank ballots received for that box; and the total ballots voted, and the spoiled ballots, and the unused ballots must correspond in total with the duplicate receipt or else the failure thereof must be perfectly accounted for by a written statement, under oath of the poll managers, which statement must be enclosed in the ballot box. There shall also be enclosed in the box the tally list, the receipt book containing the signed names of the voters who voted; and the number of ballots voted must correspond with the number of names signed in the receipt book.

 

§ 23-15-593. Irregularities in ballot box.

When the ballot box is opened and examined by the county executive committee in the case of a primary election, or county election commissioners in the case of other elections, and it is found that there have been failures in material particulars to comply with the requirements of Section 23-15-591 and Section 23-15-895 to such an extent that it is impossible to arrive at the will of the voters at such precinct, the entire box may be thrown out unless it be made to appear with reasonable certainty that the irregularities were not deliberately permitted or engaged in by the poll managers at that box, or by one (1) of them responsible for the wrong or wrongs, for the purpose of electing or defeating a certain candidate or candidates by manipulating the election or the returns thereof at that box in such manner as to have it thrown out; in which latter case the county executive committee, or the county election commission, as appropriate, shall conduct such hearing and make such determination in respect to the box as may appear lawfully just, subject to a judicial review of the matter as elsewhere provided by this chapter. Or the executive committee, or the election commission, or the court upon review, may order another election to be held at that box appointing new poll managers to hold the same.

 

§ 23-15-595. Procedure for sealing of ballot box; reopening and resealing.

The box containing the ballots and other records required by this chapter shall, immediately after the ballots have been counted, be delivered by one (1) of the poll managers to the clerk of the circuit court of the county and the clerk shall, in the presence of the poll manager making delivery of the box, place upon the lock of such box a tamper-evident seal. The seals shall be numbered consecutively to the number of ballot boxes used in the election in the county, and the clerk shall keep in a place separate from such boxes a record of the number of the seal of each separate box in the county. The board of supervisors of the county shall pay the cost of providing the seals. Upon demand of the chair of the county executive committee in the case of primary elections, or the county election commissioner in the case of other elections, the boxes and their contents shall be delivered to the county executive committee, or the county election commission, as appropriate, and after such committee or commission, as appropriate, has finished the work of tabulating returns and counting ballots as required by law, the committee or commission, as appropriate, shall return all papers and ballots to the box of the precinct where the election was held, and it shall make redelivery of the boxes and their contents to the circuit clerk who shall reseal the boxes. Upon every occasion the boxes shall be reopened and each resealing shall be done as provided in this chapter.

 

§ 23-15-597. Canvass of returns and announcement of results by executive committee.

(1) The county executive committee shall meet no later than one (1) week from the day following each primary election to receive and canvass the returns that must be made within the time fixed by law for returns of general elections and declare the result, and announce the name of the nominees for county and county district offices and the names of those candidates to be submitted to the second primary. The vote for state, state district offices and legislative offices shall be tabulated by precincts and certified to and returned to the State Executive Committee, such returns to be mailed by registered letter or any safe mode of transmission within thirty-six (36) hours after the returns are canvassed and the result ascertained. The State Executive Committee shall meet one (1) week from the day following the first primary election held for state, state district offices and legislative offices, and shall proceed to canvass the returns and to declare the result, and announce the names of those nominated for the different offices in the first primary and the names of those candidates whose names are to be submitted to the second primary election. The State Executive Committee shall also meet one (1) week from the day on which the second primary election was held and receive and canvass the returns for state and district offices, if any, and legislative offices, if any, voted on in the second primary. An exact and full duplicate of all tabulations by precincts as certified under this section shall be filed with the circuit clerk of the county who shall safely preserve the same in his or her office.
(2)

(a) If it is eligible under Section 23-15-266, the county executive committee may enter into a written agreement with the circuit clerk or the county election commission authorizing the circuit clerk or the county election commission to perform any of the duties required of the county executive committee pursuant to this section. Any agreement entered into pursuant to this subsection shall be signed by the chair of the county executive committee and the circuit clerk or the chair of the county election commission, as appropriate. The county executive committee shall notify the State Executive Committee and the Secretary of State of the existence of the agreement.
(b) If it is eligible under Section 23-15-266, the municipal executive committee may enter into a written agreement with the municipal clerk or the municipal election commission authorizing the municipal clerk or the municipal election commission to perform any of the duties required of the municipal executive committee pursuant to this section. Any agreement entered into pursuant to this subsection shall be signed by the chair of the municipal executive committee and the municipal clerk or the chair of the municipal election commission, as appropriate. The municipal executive committee shall notify the State Executive Committee and the Secretary of State of the existence of the agreement.

 

§ 23-15-599. Tabulated statement of party vote.

(1)

(a) Within ten (10) days after the first primary election and within ten (10) days after the second primary election, if any, the Chairman of the State Executive Committee shall transmit to the Secretary of State a tabulated statement of the party vote cast in each county and precinct in each county in each state and state district election, and each legislative election for districts consisting of more than one (1) county or parts of more than one (1) county. The statement shall be transmitted by the State Executive Committee on such forms and by such methods as may be required by rules and regulations promulgated by the Secretary of State. The statement shall be filed by the Secretary of State and preserved among the records of his office.
(b) The statement provided for in paragraph (a) of this subsection shall contain a certification signed and dated by the Chairman of the State Executive Committee, which shall read as follows:
“I , Chairman of the Party State Executive Committee, do hereby certify that, on a majority vote of the Party State Executive Committee, these vote totals for each county and for each candidate are the official vote totals for the election reflected therein.”

(2)

(a) Within ten (10) days after the first primary election and within ten (10) days after the second primary election, if any, the county executive committee shall transmit to the Secretary of State a tabulated statement of the party vote cast in their county and each precinct in their county in each election for county and county district office and each election for legislative office for districts containing one (1) county or less. The statement shall be transmitted by the county executive committee on such forms and by such methods as may be required by rules and regulations promulgated by the Secretary of State. The statement shall be filed by the Secretary of State and preserved among the records of his office.
(b) The statement provided for in paragraph (a) of this subsection shall contain a certification signed and dated by the majority of the members of the county executive committee, which shall read as follows:
“We, the undersigned members of the county executive committee, do hereby certify that these vote totals for each candidate are the official vote totals for the election reflected therein.”

 

§ 23-15-600. Forms for reporting election returns.

All forms to be prescribed by the Secretary of State for the reporting of election returns hereunder shall be either hard copy forms on which precincts are listed horizontally and candidates are listed vertically and/or a web-based system in which these forms, or forms similar to them, are made available to counties electronically.

 

§ 23-15-601. Canvass of returns and declaration of results by election commissioners; determination of tie vote.

(1) When the result of the election shall have been ascertained by the poll managers they, or one (1) of their number, or some fit person designated by them, shall, on the night of the election, deliver to the election commissioners, at the courthouse, a statement of the whole number of votes given for each person and for what office; and the election commissioners shall canvass the returns, ascertain and declare the result, and, within ten (10) days after the day of the election, shall deliver a certificate of the election to the person having the greatest number of votes for representative in the Legislature of districts composed of one (1) county or less, or other county office, board of supervisors, justice court judge and constable. If it appears that two (2) or more candidates for Representative of the county, or part of the county, or for any county office, board of supervisors, justice court judge or constable standing highest on the list, and not elected, have an equal number of votes, the interested candidates shall appear before the election commissioners within two (2) days after the canvass and the tie shall be determined by a toss of a coin or by lot fairly and publicly drawn, and a certificate of election shall be given accordingly. The foregoing provisions shall apply to Senators, if the county be a senatorial district.
(2) The election commissioners shall transmit to the Secretary of State, on such forms and by such methods as may be required by rules and regulations promulgated by the Secretary of State, a statement of the total number of votes cast in the county for each candidate for each office and the total number of votes cast for such candidates in each precinct in the district in which the candidate ran.

 

§ 23-15-603. Delivery of returns to Secretary of State.

(1) The election commissioners shall, within ten (10) days after the general election, transmit to the Secretary of State, to be filed in his or her office, a statement of the whole number of votes given in their county and the whole number of votes given in each precinct in their county, for each candidate for any office at the election; but the returns of every election for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Auditor of Public Accounts, State Treasurer, Commissioner of Insurance and other state officers, shall each be made out separately, sealed up together and transmitted to the seat of government, directed to the Secretary of State, and endorsed the “VOTE FOR STATE OFFICERS,” to be delivered by the Secretary of State to the Speaker of the House of Representatives at the next ensuing session of the Legislature. In addition to the other information required pursuant to this subsection, the returns for state officers shall contain a statement of the whole number of votes given in each House of Representative district or portion thereof for each candidate for state office at the election.
(2) Constitutional amendments shall be voted for at the time fixed by the concurrent resolution. The election, whether held separately or with other elections, shall be conducted, in all respects, as required for elections generally. The election commissioners shall, within ten (10) days after the election, transmit to the Secretary of State a statement of the whole number of votes given in their county and the whole number of votes given in each precinct in their county for or against constitutional amendments.
(3) The statements certified by the election commissioners and transmitted to the Secretary of State, as required by this section, shall be tabulated by the Secretary of State and submitted to each branch of the Legislature, at the session next ensuing. Certified county vote totals shall represent the final results of the election.
(4) The statements required by this section shall contain a certification, signed and dated by a majority of the election commissioners, which shall read as follows:
“We, the undersigned election commissioners, do hereby certify that this statement of the whole number of votes contains the official vote for the election reflected therein.”
(5) The statements required by this section shall be transmitted to the Secretary of State on such forms and by such methods as may be required by rules and regulations promulgated by the Secretary of State.

 

§ 23-15-605. Ascertainment of vote and declaration of results by Secretary of State; determination of tie vote.

The Secretary of State, immediately after receiving the returns of an election, not longer than thirty (30) days after the election, shall sum up the whole number of votes given for each candidate other than candidates for state offices, legislative offices composed of one (1) county or less, county offices and county district offices, according to the statements of the votes certified to him or her and ascertain the person or persons having the largest number of votes for each office, and declare such person or persons to be duly elected; and thereupon all persons chosen to any office at the election shall be commissioned by the Governor; but if it appears that two (2) or more candidates for any district office where the district is composed of two (2) or more counties, standing highest on the list, and not elected, have an equal number of votes, the election shall be decided between the candidates having an equal number of votes by each candidate individually drawing one (1) of the two (2) sealed containers from an opaque bag, under the direction of the Governor and Secretary of State. The containers shall consist of a straw of conspicuous length, and the candidate drawing the container with the longer of the two (2) straws shall be declared the winner.

 

§ 23-15-607. Determination of election for judges of Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.

(1) The election commissioners shall, within ten (10) days after an election for judges of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals, transmit to the Secretary of State, to be filed in his or her office, a statement of the whole number of votes given in their county, and the whole number of votes given in each precinct in their county, for each candidate for the Office of Judge of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals, and the Secretary of State shall immediately notify each member of the State Board of Election Commissioners in writing to assemble at his or her office on a day to be fixed by him or her, to be within ten (10) days after the receipt by him or her of such statement, and when assembled pursuant to such notice the State Board of Election Commissioners shall sum up the whole number of votes given for each candidate for judge of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals according to the total number of votes in each county for each candidate as certified to the Secretary of State, ascertain the person or persons to be elected; and thereupon all persons chosen to such office at the election shall be commissioned by the Governor; but if it appears that two (2) or more candidates for judge of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals standing highest on the list, and not elected, have an equal number of votes, the election shall be decided between the candidates having an equal number of votes by each candidate individually drawing one (1) of the two (2) sealed containers from an opaque bag, under the direction of the Governor and Secretary of State. The containers shall consist of a straw of conspicuous length, and the candidate drawing the container with the longer of the two (2) straws shall be declared the winner.
(2) The statements required by this section shall contain a certification, signed and dated by a majority of the election commissioners, which shall read as follows:
“We, the undersigned election commissioners, do hereby certify that this statement of the whole number of votes contain the official vote for the election reflected therein.”
(3) The statements required by this section shall be transmitted to the Secretary of State on such forms and by such methods as may be required by rules and regulations promulgated by the Secretary of State.

 

§ 23-15-609. Determination of election in which city or county is entitled to separate representation in legislature.

When a city or part of a county is entitled to separate representation in the Legislature, the election commissioners shall prepare for the election, and shall receive and canvass the returns, declare the result, and transmit it to the Secretary of State, and act in all respects as in other elections.

 

§ 23-15-611. Determination of municipal elections; show cause order may be issued for failure to transmit statement certifying names of persons elected.

(1) In municipal elections, poll managers shall, immediately upon the closing of the polls, count the ballots and ascertain the number of votes cast in each voting precinct for each of the candidates or ballot measures and make a return thereof to the municipal election commissioners. On the day following the election, the election commissioners shall canvass the returns so received from all voting precincts and shall, within six (6) days after the election, deliver to each person receiving the highest number of votes a certificate of election. If it shall appear that any two (2) or more of the candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall have received an equal number of votes, the election shall be decided by a toss of a coin or by lot fairly and publicly drawn under the direction of the election commissioners.
(2)

(a) Within six (6) days after any election, the municipal election commissioners shall transmit a statement to the Secretary of State certifying the name or names of the person or persons elected, and such person or persons shall be issued commissions by the Governor. The statement shall also include vote totals for each candidate for each office and vote totals for and against ballot measures, if any, including the vote totals for each candidate and ballot measure in each precinct in the municipality.
(b) The statements required by this subsection (2) shall contain a certification, signed and dated by a majority of the municipal election commissioners, which shall read as follows:
“We, the undersigned municipal election commissioners, do hereby certify that this statement contains the official vote for the election reflected therein.”
(c) The statements required by this subsection (2) shall be transmitted to the Secretary of State on such forms and by such methods as may be required by rules and regulations promulgated by the Secretary of State.
(d) If the statement certifying the names of the persons elected is not transmitted to the Secretary of State as required by this subsection (2), the Secretary of State may issue a show cause order directing the municipal election commissioners to provide to the Secretary of State written response containing the reasons for their failure to transmit the statement. The municipal election commissioners shall file their response to the show cause order with the Secretary of State within five (5) working days after the issuance of the show cause order. If the statement certifying the names of the persons elected is not transmitted to the Secretary of State within five (5) working days after the issuance of the show cause order, the Secretary of State may petition a court of competent jurisdiction to compel the municipal election commissioners to comply with this subsection (2). If the statement certifying the names of the persons elected is received by the Secretary of State within five (5) days after the issuance of the show cause order, a response to the show cause order shall not be required.

 

§ 23-15-613. Reporting of residual votes required for elections in which ballots are generated that are counted by hand or by OMR equipment or the tabulating mechanism of a DRE unit; certain reports required for elections that use voting devices that do not generate ballots.

(1) As used in this section “residual votes” means overvotes, undervotes and any other vote not counted for any reason.
(2) For every election, election commissions and county and municipal executive committees shall report to the Secretary of State residual vote information; however, if the voting devices utilized in the election do not produce a ballot, other information shall be reported as required in this section.
(3) For every election, election commissions and county and municipal executive committees responsible for the conduct of elections in which ballots are generated that are counted by hand or by OMR equipment or the tabulating mechanism of a DRE unit shall report to the Secretary of State all residual votes for all candidates and ballot measures in the elections for which they are responsible for conducting. The residual vote reports shall:

(a) Be received by the Secretary of State no later than December 15 of the year in which the election is held;

(b) Include any suggested explanation or suspected cause of the residual votes;
(c) Include a copy of a voided official ballot for the election as such ballot appeared to voters at the election and copies of voided affidavit and absentee ballots if they are different from the official ballot;
(d) Include the total voter turnout for each election to be determined by totaling the number of persons signing the receipt book at each precinct, absentee voters and persons who voted by affidavit ballot and persons whose ballots were challenged and rejected; and
(e) Include a copy of any printed voting instructions given or visible to voters in the election and a description of any verbal instructions and any other evidence of voter education that was used in the election.

(4) For every election, election commissions and county and municipal executive committees responsible for the conduct of election in which voting devices are used that do not generate ballots that are counted by hand or by OMR equipment or the tabulating mechanism of a DRE unit, shall file a report with the Secretary of State which shall:

(a) Be received by the Secretary of State no later than December 15 of the year in which the election is held;
(b) Include the total voter turnout for each election to be determined by totaling the number of persons signing the receipt book at each precinct, absentee voters and persons who voted by affidavit ballot and persons whose ballots were challenged and rejected;
(c) Include in the report any anecdotal information obtained concerning voter problems with the voting equipment or ballot layout;
(d) Include in the report any suggested explanation or suspected cause of any difference in the amount of total voter turnout and the number of counted votes for candidates for various offices; and
(e) Include a copy of any printed voting instructions given or visible to voters in the election and a description of any verbal instructions and any other evidence of voter education that was used in the election.

(5) Not later than January 31 of the year following the election, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House of Representatives analyzing the reports required to be filed pursuant to this section. The analysis shall include the following:

(a) The performance of each voting device type used in the election;
(b) Any problems with voter or poll worker instructions or ballot design and layout that have been identified as a result of analyzing the reports received;
(c) Recommendations for reducing the number of residual votes reported; and
(d) Such other information as the Secretary of State deems beneficial.

(6) The reports required pursuant to this section shall be in such form as may be required by rules and regulations promulgated by the Secretary of State.

 

ARTICLE 19. ABSENTEE BALLOTS

 

SUBARTICLE A. ABSENTEE BALLOTING PROCEDURES LAW

§ 23-15-621. Short title.

The title of Sections 23-15-621 through 23-15-653 of this chapter shall be the Absentee Balloting Procedures Law.

§ 23-15-623. Application to absentee ballots authorized in Subarticles B, C, and D.

All absentee ballots as authorized in Sections 23-15-671 through 23-15-697, in Sections 23-15-711 through 23-15-721, and Sections 23-15-731 and 23-15-733, shall be handled as
provided in Sections 23-15-621 through 23-15-653.

§ 23-15-625. Duties of registrar relating to the provision and disbursement of absentee voting applications; request for application by person other than elector seeking to vote by absentee ballot; solicitation of absentee ballot applications for persons staying in skilled nursing facility prohibited; exceptions; maintenance of list of absentee voters; public access to list; placement of absentee ballots in ballot boxes; authority to mail applications to qualified electors; use of Statewide Election Management System.

(1) The registrar shall be responsible for providing applications for absentee voting as provided in this section. At least sixty (60) days prior to any election in which absentee voting is provided for by law, the registrar shall provide a sufficient number of applications. In the event a special election is called and set at a date which makes it impractical or impossible to prepare applications for absent elector’s ballot sixty (60) days prior to the election, the registrar shall provide applications as soon as practicable after the election is called. The registrar shall fill in the date of the particular election on the application for which the application will be used.
(2) The registrar shall be authorized to disburse applications for absentee ballots to any qualified elector within the county where he serves. Any person who presents to the registrar an oral or written request for an absentee ballot application for a voter entitled to vote absentee by mail, other than the elector who seeks to vote by absentee ballot, shall, in the presence of the registrar, sign the application and print on the application his or her name and address and the name of the elector for whom the application is being requested in the place provided for on the application for that purpose. However, if for any reason such person is unable to write the information required, then the registrar shall write the information on a printed form which has been prescribed by the Secretary of State. The form shall provide a place for such person to place his mark after the form has been filled out by the registrar.
(3) It shall be unlawful for any person to solicit absentee ballot applications or absentee ballots for persons staying in any skilled nursing facility as defined in Section 41-7-173. This prohibition shall not apply to:

(a) A family member of the person staying in the skilled nursing facility; or
(b) A person designated by the person for whom the absentee ballot application or absentee ballot is sought, the registrar or the deputy registrar.
As used in this subsection, “family member” means a spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, adult child, grandchild or legal guardian.

(4) The registrar in the county wherein a voter is qualified to vote upon receiving the envelope containing the absentee ballots shall keep an accurate list of all persons preparing such ballots, which list shall be kept in a conspicuous place accessible to the public near the entrance to his office. The registrar shall also furnish to each precinct manager a list of the names of all persons in each respective precinct voting absentee ballots to be posted in a conspicuous place at the polling place for public notice. The application on file with the registrar and the envelopes containing the ballots shall be kept by the registrar and deposited in the proper precinct ballot boxes before such boxes are delivered to the election commissioners or managers. At the time such boxes are delivered to the election commissioners or managers, the registrar shall also turn over a list of all such persons who have voted and whose ballots are in the box.
(5) The registrar shall also be authorized to mail one (1) application to any qualified elector of the county for use in a particular election.
(6) The registrar shall process all applications for absentee ballots by using the Statewide Election Management System. The registrar shall account for all absentee ballots delivered to and received from qualified voters by processing such ballots using the Statewide Election Management System.

 

§ 23-15-627. Distribution of absentee ballot application by registrar; request for absentee ballot application by certain persons on behalf of an elector; form of application.

The registrar shall be responsible for furnishing an absentee ballot application form to any elector authorized to receive an absentee ballot. Except as otherwise provided in Section 23-15-625, absentee ballot applications shall be furnished to a person only upon the oral or written request of the elector who seeks to vote by absentee ballot; however, the parent, child, spouse, sibling, legal guardian, those empowered with a power of attorney for that elector’s affairs or agent of the elector, who is designated in writing and witnessed by a resident of this state who shall write his or her physical address on such designation, may orally request an absentee ballot application on behalf of the elector. The written designation shall be valid for one (1) year after the date of the designation. An absentee ballot application must have the seal of the circuit or municipal clerk affixed to it and be initialed by the registrar or his deputy in order to be utilized to obtain an absentee ballot. A reproduction of an absentee ballot application shall not be valid unless it is a reproduction provided by the office of the registrar of the jurisdiction in which the election is being held and which contains the seal and initials required by this section. Such application shall be substantially in the following form:

“OFFICIAL APPLICATION FOR ABSENT ELECTOR’S BALLOT
I,_____, duly qualified and registered in the _____Precinct of the County of _____, and State of Mississippi, coming within the purview of the definition ‘ABSENT ELECTOR’ will be absent from the county of my residence on election day, or unable to vote in person because (check appropriate reason):

( ) (PRESIDENTIAL APPLICANT ONLY:) I am currently a resident of Mississippi or have moved therefrom within thirty (30) days of the coming presidential election.

( ) I am an enlisted or commissioned member, male or female, of any component of the United States Armed Forces and am a citizen of Mississippi, or spouse or dependent of such member.

( ) I am a member of the Merchant Marine or the American Red Cross and am a citizen of Mississippi or spouse or dependent of such member.

( ) I am a disabled war veteran who is a patient in any hospital and am a citizen of Mississippi or spouse or dependent of such veteran.

( ) I am a civilian attached to and serving outside of the United States with any branch of the Armed Forces or with the Merchant Marine or American Red Cross, and am a citizen of Mississippi or spouse or dependent of such civilian.

( ) I am a citizen of Mississippi temporarily residing outside the territorial limits of the United States and the District of Columbia.

( ) I am a student, teacher or administrator at a college, university, junior or community college, high, junior high, elementary or grade school, whose studies or employment at such institution necessitates my absence from the county of my voting residence or spouse or dependent of such student, teacher or administrator who maintains a common domicile outside the county of my voting residence with such student, teacher or administrator.

( ) I will be outside the county on election day.
( ) I have a temporary or permanent physical disability. ( ) I am sixty-five (65) years of age or older.
( ) I am the parent, spouse or dependent of a person with a temporary or permanent physical disability who is hospitalized outside his county of residence or more than fifty (50) miles away from his residence, and I will be with such person on election day.
( ) I am a member of the congressional delegation, or spouse or dependent of a member of the congressional delegation.

( ) I am required to be at work on election day during the times which the polls will be open.

I hereby make application for an official ballot, or ballots, to be voted by me at the election to be held in _____, on _____.

Mail ‘Absent Elector’s Ballot’ to me at the following address (if eligible to vote by mail).

 

I realize that I can be fined up to Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) and sentenced up to five (5) years in the Penitentiary for making a false statement in this application and for selling my vote and violating the Mississippi Absentee Voter Law. (This sentence is to be in bold print.)

If you are temporarily or permanently disabled, you are not required to have this application notarized or signed by an official authorized to administer oaths for absentee balloting. You are required to sign this application in the proper place and have a person eighteen (18) years of age or older witness your signature and sign this application in the proper place.

DO NOT SIGN WITHOUT READING. (This sentence is to be in bold print.)

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and seal this the _____ day of _____, 2_____.

_______________

(Signature of absent elector)

SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED before me this the _____ day of_____, 2_____.

_______________

(Official authorized to administer oaths for absentee balloting.)

TO BE SIGNED BY WITNESS FOR VOTERS TEMPORARILY OR PERMANENTLY DISABLED:
I HEREBY CERTIFY that this application for an absent elector’s ballot was signed by the above-named disabled elector in my presence and that I am at least eighteen (18) years of age, this the _____day of _____, 2_____.

_______________

(Signature of witness)

 

CERTIFICATE OF DELIVERY
I hereby certify that __________(print name of voter) has requested that I, __________ (print name of person delivering application), deliver to the voter this absentee ballot application.

_______________

(Signature of person delivering application)

_______________

(Address of person delivering application)”

 

§ 23-15-629. Applications by persons who are permanently physically disabled; listing of qualified electors; distribution of ballots.

(1) The application for an absentee ballot of a person who is permanently physically disabled shall be accompanied by a statement signed by such person’s physician, or nurse practitioner, which statement must show that the person signing the statement is a licensed, practicing medical doctor or nurse practitioner and must indicate that the person applying for the absentee ballot is permanently physically disabled to such a degree that it is difficult for him to vote in person.
(2) An application accompanied by the statement provided for in subsection (1) of this section shall entitle such permanently physically disabled person to automatically receive an absentee ballot for all elections on a continuing basis without the necessity for reapplication.
(3) The registrar of each county shall keep an accurate list of the names and addresses of all persons whose applications for absentee ballot are accompanied by the statement set forth in subsection (1) of this section. Sixty (60) days prior to each election, the registrar shall deliver such list to the commissioners of election who shall examine the list and delete from it the names of all persons listed who are no longer qualified electors of the county. Upon completion of such examination, the commissioners of election shall return the list to the registrar by no later than forty-five (45) days prior to the election.
(4) The registrar shall send a ballot to all persons who are determined by the commissioners of election to be qualified electors pursuant to subsection (3) of this section by no later than forty
(40) days prior to the election.

 

§ 23-15-631. Instructions to absent electors; instructions as constituting substantive law.

(1) The registrar shall enclose with each ballot provided to an absent elector separate printed instructions furnished by the registrar containing the following:

(a) All absentee voters, excepting those with temporary or permanent physical disabilities or those who are sixty-five (65) years of age or older, who mark their ballots in the county of the residence shall use the registrar of that county as the witness. The absentee voter shall come to the office of the registrar and neither the registrar nor his or her deputy shall be required to go out of the registrar’s office to serve as an attesting witness.
(b) Upon receipt of the enclosed ballot, you will not mark the ballot except in view or sight of the attesting witness. In the sight or view of the attesting witness, mark the ballot according to instructions.
(c) After marking the ballot, fill out and sign the “ELECTOR’S CERTIFICATE” on the back of the envelope so that the signature is across the flap of the envelope to ensure the integrity of the ballot. All absent electors shall have the attesting witness sign the “ATTESTING WITNESS CERTIFICATE” across the flap on the back of the envelope. Place the necessary postage on the envelope and deposit it in the post office or some government receptacle provided for deposit of mail so that the absent elector’s ballot, excepting presidential absentee ballots, will reach the registrar in which your precinct is located not later than 5:00 p.m. on the day preceding the date of the election.
Any notary public, United States postmaster, assistant United States postmaster, United States postal supervisor, clerk in charge of a contract postal station, or other officer having authority to administer an oath or take an acknowledgment may be an attesting witness; provided, however, that in the case of an absent elector who is temporarily or permanently physically disabled, the attesting witness may be any person eighteen (18) years of age or older and such person is not required to have the authority to administer an oath. If a postmaster, assistant postmaster, postal supervisor, or clerk in charge of a contract postal station acts as an attesting witness, his or her signature on the elector’s certificate must be authenticated by the cancellation stamp of their respective post offices. If an officer having authority to administer an oath or take an acknowledgement acts as attesting witness, his or her signature on the elector’s certificate, together with his or her title and address, but no seal, shall be required. Any affidavits made by an absent elector who is in the Armed Forces may be executed before a commissioned officer, warrant officer, or noncommissioned officer not lower in grade than sergeant rating or any person authorized to administer oaths.
(d) When the application accompanies the ballot it shall not be returned in the same envelope as the ballot but shall be returned in a separate preaddressed envelope provided by the registrar.
(e) A candidate for public office, or the spouse, parent or child of a candidate for public office, may not be an attesting witness for any absentee ballot upon which the candidate’s name appears, unless the voter is related within the first degree to the candidate or the spouse, parent or child of the candidate.
(f) Any voter casting an absentee ballot who declares that he or she requires assistance to vote by reason of blindness, temporary or permanent physical disability or inability to read or write, shall be entitled to receive assistance in the marking of his or her absentee ballot and in completing the affidavit on the absentee ballot envelope. The voter may be given assistance by anyone of the voter’s choice other than a candidate whose name appears on the absentee ballot being marked, the spouse, parent or child of a candidate whose name appears on the absentee ballot being marked or the voter’s employer, an agent of that employer or a union representative; however, a candidate whose name is on the ballot or the spouse, parent or child of such candidate may provide assistance upon request to any voter who is related within the first degree. In order to ensure the integrity of the ballot, any person who provides assistance to an absentee voter shall be required to sign and complete the “Certificate of Person Providing Voter Assistance” on the absentee ballot envelope.

(2) The foregoing instructions required to be provided by the registrar to the elector shall also constitute the substantive law pertaining to the handling of absentee ballots by the elector and registrar.
(3) The Secretary of State shall prepare instructions on how absent voters may comply with the identification requirements of Section 23-15-563.

 

§ 23-15-633. Signatures of elector and attesting witness across flap of envelope.

On any envelope where the elector’s signature and the signature of the attesting witness are required, the signature lines and the signatures shall be across the flap of the envelope to insure the integrity of the ballot and the following shall be printed on the flap on the back of the envelope in bold print and in a distinguishing color: “YOUR VOTE WILL BE REJECTED AND NOT COUNTED IF THIS ENVELOPE IS NOT SIGNED ACROSS THE FLAP OF THIS ENVELOPE BY YOU AND AN ATTESTING WITNESS.”

 

§ 23-15-635. Form of elector’s certificate, attesting witness certification, and voter assistance certificate where county registrar is not attesting witness and voter is not absent voter as defined in the Armed Forces Absentee Voting Law.

(1) The form of the elector’s certificate, attesting witness certification and certificate of person providing voter assistance on the back of the envelope used by voters who do not use the registrar of their county of residence as an attesting witness and who are not absent voters as defined in Section 23-15-673, shall be as follows:

“ELECTOR’S CERTIFICATE

STATE OF _____
COUNTY OR PARISH OF _____
I,_____, under penalty of perjury do solemnly swear that this envelope contains the ballot marked by me indicating my choice of the candidates or propositions to be submitted at the election to be held on the _____ day of _____, 2_____, and I hereby authorize the registrar to place this envelope in the ballot box on my behalf, and I further authorize the election managers to open this envelope and place my ballot among the other ballots cast before such ballots are counted, and record my name on the poll list as if I were present in person and voted.

I further swear that I marked the enclosed ballot in secret.

Penalties for vote fraud are up to five (5) years in prison and a fine of up to Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00). (Miss. Code. Ann. Section 23-15-753.) Penalties for voter intimidation are up to one year in jail and a fine of up to One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00). (Miss. Code. Ann. Section 97-13-37.)

_______________

(Signature of voter)

CERTIFICATE OF ATTESTING WITNESS

Under penalty of perjury I affirm that the above named voter personally appeared
before me, on this the _____ day of _____, 2_____, and is known by me to be
the person named, and who, after being duly sworn or having affirmed, subscribed the foregoing oath or affirmation. That the voter exhibited to me his blank ballot; that the ballot was not marked or voted before the voter exhibited the ballot to me; that the voter was not solicited or advised by me to vote for any candidate, question or issue, and that the voter, after marking his ballot, placed it in the envelope, closed and sealed the envelope in my presence, and signed and swore or affirmed the above certificate.

_______________                                                                                         _______________

(Attesting witness)                                                                                                          (Address)

_______________                                                                                          _______________

(Official title)                                                                                                              (City and State)

CERTIFICATE OF PERSON PROVIDING VOTER ASSISTANCE

(To be completed only if the voter has received assistance in marking the enclosed ballot.) I, under penalty of perjury, hereby certify that the above-named voter declared to me that he or she is blind, temporarily or permanently physically disabled, or cannot read or write, and that the voter requested that I assist the voter in marking the enclosed absentee ballot. I hereby certify that the ballot preferences on the enclosed ballot are those communicated by the voter to me, and that I have marked the enclosed ballot in accordance with the voter’s instructions.

Penalties for vote fraud are up to five (5) years in prison and a fine of up to Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00). (Miss. Code. Ann. Section 23-15-753.) Penalties for voter intimidation are up to one (1) year in jail and a fine of up to One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00). (Miss. Code. Ann. Section 97-13-37.)

_______________

Signature of person providing assistance

_______________

Printed name of person providing assistance

_______________

Address of person providing assistance

_______________

Date and time assistance provided

_______________

Family relationship to voter (if any)”

(2) The envelope used pursuant to this section shall not contain the form prescribed pursuant to Section 23-15-719 and shall have printed on the flap on the back of the envelope in bold print and in a distinguishing color, the following: “YOUR VOTE WILL BE REJECTED AND NOT COUNTED IF THIS ENVELOPE IS NOT SIGNED ACROSS THE FLAP OF THIS ENVELOPE BY YOU AND AN ATTESTING WITNESS.”

 

§ 23-15-637. Timely casting of ballots.

Absentee ballots received by mail, except presidential ballots as provided for in Sections 23-15-731 and 23-15-733 and except as otherwise provided by Section 23-15-699, must be received by the registrar by 5:00 p.m. on the date preceding the election; any received after such time shall be handled as provided in Section 23-15-647 and shall not be counted. All ballots cast by the absent elector appearing in person in the office of the registrar shall be cast not later than 12:00 noon on the Saturday immediately preceding elections held on Tuesday, the Thursday immediately preceding elections held on Saturday, or the second day immediately preceding the date of elections held on other days. The registrar shall deposit all absentee ballots which have been timely cast in the ballot boxes upon receipt.

 

§ 23-15-639. Examination of absentee ballots at close of polls; counting of ballots.

(1) In elections in which direct recording electronic voting systems are not utilized, the examination and counting of absentee ballots shall be conducted as follows:

(a) At the close of the regular balloting and at the close of the polls, the election managers of each voting precinct shall first take the envelopes containing the absentee ballots of such electors from the box, and the name, address and precinct inscribed on each envelope shall be announced by the election managers.
(b) The signature on the application shall then be compared with the signature on the back of the envelope. If it corresponds and the affidavit, if one is required, is sufficient and the election managers find that the applicant is a registered and qualified voter or otherwise qualified to vote, and that he has not appeared in person and voted at the election, the envelope shall then be opened and the ballot removed from the envelope, without its being unfolded, or permitted to be unfolded or examined.
(c) Having observed and found the ballot to be regular as far as can be observed from its official endorsement, the election managers shall deposit it in the ballot box with the other ballots before counting any ballots and enter the voter’s name in the receipt book provided for that purpose and mark “VOTED” in the pollbook or poll list as if he had been present and voted in person. If voting machines are used, all absentee ballots shall be placed in the ballot box before any ballots are counted, and the election managers in each precinct shall immediately count such absentee ballots and add them to the votes cast in the voting machine or device.

(2) In elections in which direct recording electronic voting systems are utilized, the examination and counting of absentee ballots shall be conducted as follows:

(a) At the close of the regular balloting and at the close of the polls, the election managers of each voting precinct shall first take the envelopes containing the absentee ballots of such electors from the box, and the name, address and precinct inscribed on each envelope shall be announced by the election managers.
(b) The signature on the application shall then be compared with the signature on the back of the envelope. If it corresponds and the affidavit, if one is required, is sufficient and the election managers find that the applicant is a registered and qualified voter or otherwise qualified to vote, and that he has not appeared in person and voted at the election, the unopened envelope shall be marked “ACCEPTED” and the election managers shall enter the voter’s name in the receipt book provided for that purpose and mark “VOTED” in the pollbook or poll list as if he had been present and voted in person.
(c) All absentee ballot envelopes shall then be placed in the secure ballot transfer case and delivered to the officials in charge of conducting the election at the central tabulation point of the county. The official in charge of the election shall open the envelopes marked “ACCEPTED” and remove the ballot from the envelope.
(d) Having observed the ballot to be regular as far as can be observed from its official endorsement, the absentee ballot shall be processed through the central optical scanner. The scanned totals shall then be combined with the direct recording electronic voting system totals for the unofficial vote count.
When there is a conflict between an electronic voting system and a paper record, then there is a rebuttable presumption that the paper record is correct.

(3) The election managers shall also take such action as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State to ensure compliance with the identification requirements of Section 23-15-563.

 

§ 23-15-641. Grounds for rejection of ballots; procedure.

(1) If an affidavit or the certificate of the officer before whom the affidavit is taken is required and such affidavit or certificate is found to be insufficient, or if it is found that the signatures do not correspond, or that the applicant is not a duly qualified elector in the precinct, or otherwise qualified to vote, or that the ballot envelope is open or has been opened and resealed, or the voter is not eligible to vote absentee or that the voter is present and has voted within the precinct where he represents himself to be a qualified elector, or otherwise qualified to vote, on the date of the election at such precinct, the previously cast vote shall not be allowed. Without opening the voter’s envelope the commissioners of election, designated executive committee members or election managers, as appropriate, shall mark across its face “REJECTED”, with the reason therefor.

(2) If the ballot envelope contains more than one (1) ballot of any kind, the ballot shall not be counted but shall be marked “REJECTED”, with the reason therefor. The voter’s envelopes and affidavits, and the voter’s envelope with its contents unopened, when such vote is rejected, shall be retained and preserved in the same manner as other ballots at the election. Such votes may be challenged in the same manner and for the same reasons that any other vote cast in such election may be challenged.
(3) If an affidavit is required and the officials find that the affidavit is insufficient, or if the officials find that the absentee voter is otherwise disqualified to vote, the envelope shall not be opened and a commissioner or executive committee member shall write across the face of the envelope “REJECTED” giving the reason therefor, and the registrar shall promptly notify the voter of such rejection.
(4) The ballots marked “REJECTED” shall be placed in a separate envelope in the secure ballot transfer case and delivered to the officials in charge of conducting the election at the central tabulation point of the county.

 

§ 23-15-643. Examination of affidavits; challenges.

If an affidavit is required, the appropriate election officials shall examine the affidavit of each absentee ballot envelope. If the officials are satisfied that the affidavit is sufficient and that the absentee voter is otherwise qualified to vote, an official shall announce the name of the voter and shall give any person present an opportunity to challenge in like manner and for the same cause as the voter could have been challenged had he presented himself personally in such precinct to vote. The ineligibility of the voter to vote by absentee ballot shall be a ground for a challenge. Also, the officials shall consider any absentee voter challenged when a person has previously filed a written challenge of such voter’s right to vote. The election officials shall handle any such challenge in the same manner as other challenged ballots are handled.

 

§ 23-15-645. Preservation of materials relative to absentee voters; return of materials to registrar.

After the votes have been counted the officials shall preserve all applications, envelopes and the list of absent voters along with the ballots and other election materials and return the same to the registrar.

 

§ 23-15-647. Disposition of absentee ballots received after applicable deadlines.

The registrar shall keep safely and unopened all official absentee ballots which are received subsequent to the applicable cutoff period establishing its validity. Upon receipt of such ballot, the registrar shall write the day and hour of the receipt of the ballot on its envelope. All such absentee ballots returned to the registrar after the cutoff time shall be safely kept unopened by the registrar for the period of time required for the preservation of ballots used in the election, and shall then, without being opened, be destroyed in like manner as the used ballots of the election.

 

§ 23-15-649. Preparation and printing of absentee voter ballots.

For all elections, there shall be prepared and printed by the officials charged with this duty with respect to the election, as soon as the deadline for the qualification of candidates has passed or forty-five (45) days of the election, whichever is later, official ballots for each voting precinct to be known as absentee voter ballots, which ballots shall be prepared and printed in the same form and shall be of the same size and texture as the regular official ballot except that they shall be printed on tinted paper of a tint different from that of the regular official ballot.

 

§ 23-15-651. Announcement of results of vote by absentee balloting.

The results of the vote by absentee balloting shall be announced simultaneously with the vote cast on election day.

 

§ 23-15-653. Hours of registrars’ offices on two Saturdays prior to each election.

All registrars’ offices shall remain open until noon on the two (2) Saturdays prior to each election.

 

§ 23-15-657. Requests for absentee ballots by telephone.

The registrar is authorized to accept requests for absentee ballots by telephone. When a telephone request that an absentee ballot application be mailed by the registrar to an elector is made, the registrar shall ascertain the name and complete address of the person making the telephone request and shall print upon the absentee ballot application the name and complete address of the requestor and the relation of such person to the voter if requested by a person other than the voter and the date such request was made. Such requests shall be processed through the Statewide Election Management System.

 

SUBARTICLE B. ARMED SERVICES ABSENTEE VOTING LAW

§ 23-15-671. Short title.

The title of Sections 23-15-671 through 23-15-697 shall be the Armed Services Absentee Voting Law.

§ 23-15-673. Definitions.

(1) For the purposes of this subarticle, the term “absent voter” shall mean and include the following persons if they are absent from their county of residence and are otherwise qualified to vote in Mississippi:

(a) Any enlisted or commissioned members, male or female, of the United States Army, or any of its respective components or various divisions thereof; any enlisted or commissioned members, male or female, of the United States Navy, or any of its respective components or various divisions thereof; any enlisted or commissioned members, male or female, of the United States Air Force, or any of its respective components or various divisions thereof; any enlisted or commissioned members, male or female, of the United States Marines, or any of its respective components or various divisions thereof; or any persons in any division of the armed services of the United States, who are citizens of Mississippi;
(b) Any member of the Merchant Marine and the American Red Cross who is a citizen of Mississippi;
(c) Any disabled war veteran who is a patient in any hospital and who is a citizen of Mississippi;

(d) Any civilian attached to and serving outside of the United States with any branch of the Armed Forces or with the Merchant Marine or American Red Cross, and who is a citizen of Mississippi;
(e) Any trained or certified emergency response provider who is deployed during the time period authorized by law for absentee voting, on election day, or during any state of emergency declared by the President of the United States or any Governor of any state within the United States;
(f) Any citizen of Mississippi temporarily residing outside the territorial limits of the United States and the District of Columbia;
(g) Any citizen of Mississippi enrolled as a student at the United States Naval Academy, the United States Coast Guard Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, the United States Air Force Academy or the United States Military Academy.

(2) The spouse and dependents of any absent voter as set out in paragraphs (a) through (g) of subsection (1) of this section shall also be included in the meaning of absent voter and may register to vote and vote an absentee ballot as provided in this subarticle if also absent from the county of their residence on the date of the election and otherwise qualified to vote in Mississippi.
(3) For the purpose of this subarticle, the term “election” shall mean and include the following sets of elections: special and runoff special elections, preferential and general elections, first and second primary elections or general elections without preferential elections, whichever system is applicable.

 

§ 23-15-675. Right of absentees to vote.

Any absent voter, as defined in Section 23-15-673, who is otherwise qualified, may, upon compliance with the provisions of this subarticle, vote in any elections which are held in his voting precinct when he is absent for the reasons set forth in this subarticle.

 

§ 23-15-677. Use of federal postcard application or Federal Write-In-Absentee Ballot.

(1) All absent voters as defined in Section 23-15-673(1) and (2) may use a duly executed federal postcard application (as provided for in the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 USCS 1973ff et seq.) to request a ballot or to register to vote, or to do both simultaneously.
(2) An absent voter who registers to vote utilizing a federal postcard application or a Federal Write-In-Absentee Ballot may vote in an election if the voter was registered to vote ten (10) or more days prior to the date of the election.

 

§ 23-15-679. Preparation and printing of absentee voter ballots.

The official absentee voter ballots shall be prepared and printed in the same form and shall be of the same size and texture as the regular official ballot except that they shall be printed on tinted paper of a tint different from that of the regular official ballot.

 

§ 23-15-681. Absentee ballot envelopes.

Except as otherwise provided in this subarticle, all official absentee ballots shall be sent out and returned in envelopes on which there is printed across the face two (2) parallel horizontal bars, each one-fourth (1/4) of an inch wide, extending from one side of the envelope to the other side, with an intervening space of one-fourth (1/4) of an inch, the top bar to be one and one-fourth (1-1/4) inches from the top of the envelope, and with the words “OFFICIAL ELECTION BALLOTING MATERIAL-VIA AIR MAIL” between the bars. In the upper right corner of each such envelope there shall be printed in a box the words “FREE OF U.S. POSTAGE, INCLUDING AIR MAIL.” All printing on the face of such envelopes shall be in black, and there shall be printed in black in the upper left corner of all such ballot envelopes an appropriate inscription for the return address of the sender

 

§ 23-15-683. Preparation and distribution of ballots for first and second elections; ascertainment by absent voters of candidates in second election.

In any elections, as soon as the deadline for the qualification of candidates has passed, or forty-five (45) days prior to the election, whichever is later, absentee ballots shall be prepared and printed for the elections, and both of said ballots shall have printed thereon the names of all candidates who originally qualify as candidates. However, such ballots shall be printed on paper of different tints or colors and shall be styled so as to show which ballot is to be used for the first election and which ballot is to be used for the second election.
When the proper application is made as is otherwise provided herein, the registrar shall send to the absent voter the proper absent voter ballots for the elections as is otherwise provided herein, and with such ballots there shall be sent also separate official envelopes for the return thereof. No additional ballot shall be thereafter sent to the absent voter for the second election but the absent voter shall ascertain which of the candidates who originally qualified are candidates in the second election and he or she may vote for his choice between them on the second election ballot previously sent him. If an absentee voter shall vote for any candidate on the second election ballot who is not a candidate in the second election, his vote for that office shall be disregarded.

 

§ 23-15-685. Distribution of absentee ballot materials upon application.

Within forty-five (45) days next prior to any election upon application first made to the registrar of the county by any absent voter as defined in this subarticle, such person shall be sent an absentee voter ballot of the county of which he is a citizen and resident. The registrar shall send to such absent voter a proper absentee voter ballot containing the names of all candidates who qualify or the proposition to be voted upon in such elections, and with such ballot there shall be sent an official envelope containing upon it in printed form the recitals and data hereinafter required.

 

§ 23-15-687. Applications for absentee ballots; preservation of applications.

(1) ) The registrar shall keep all applications for absentee ballots and shall, within twenty four (24) hours, if possible, send to the absent voter on whose behalf the application is made, the proper affidavit and the proper ballot or ballots applicable to the elections. Such information shall be processed through the Statewide Election Management System.
(2) One (1) application for an absentee ballot shall serve as a request by the applicant for an absentee ballot for:

(a) The next federal general election, including all primary elections associated with the election;
(b) All state and county primary and general elections that occur after the receipt of the application by the registrar through the date of the next federal general election that occurs after the receipt of the application by the registrar.

(3) The registrar shall preserve all applications for absentee ballots for one (1) year as a record to be furnished to any court or other duly constituted authority for inspection or evidence if properly requested.
(4) ) If the registrar rejects an application for an absentee ballot or denies a request to register to vote from a uniformed services applicant or an overseas voter, the registrar shall provide the person with the reasons for the rejection.
(5) Any runoff election for a federal election shall be considered a continuation of such federal election.
(6) An absent voter as defined in Section 23-15-673(1) may sign an absentee ballot application by electronic signature. The Secretary of State shall adopt rules necessary to implement this subsection.

 

§ 23-15-689. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2000, ch. 519, § 8, effective from and after August 7, 2000 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the repeal of this section).
[Derived from 1972 Code § 23-9-519 [Codes, 1942, § 3203-207; Laws, 1972, ch. 490, §
207; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 342]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 224, eff from and after
January 1, 1987.]

 

§ 23-15-691. Prompt distribution of absentee ballot materials; separation of envelope and other materials; instructions as to notation on envelope and use of ink or indelible pencil.

As soon as possible after the printing of the official absentee ballot for any election, the registrar of the county shall send to any absent voter as defined in this subarticle, who shall, upon proper application, have requested same, the official absentee voter ballot or ballots provided for in this subarticle and the instructions for voting and returning the ballot. If the ballot is sent by mail the registrar shall send a self-addressed envelope or envelopes with the ballot and the instructions.
If the ballot is sent by mail, the gummed flap of the envelope provided for the return of the ballot must be separated by wax paper or other appropriate protective insert from the remaining balloting material. The voting instructions shall require a notation of the facts on the back of the envelope duly signed by the voter.
If applicable, the instructions shall indicate that the ballot shall be marked in ink or indelible pencil.

 

§ 23-15-692. Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot.

(1) An absent voter who resides outside the United States, who is a member of the United States Armed Forces or who is a family member of a member of § 23-15-693. Completion of declaration specified in federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Actthe Armed Forces, and who is a registered voter of the State of Mississippi, may use the Federal Write-In-Absentee Ballot as provided for by 42 USCS 1973ff-2 in general, special, primary and runoff elections for local, state and federal offices.
(2) Upon receipt of a Federal Write-In-Absentee Ballot executed by a person who is a registered voter or whose information on the form is sufficient to register or update the registration of that person, the Federal Write-In-Absentee Ballot shall be considered as an absentee ballot request. Nothing in this subsection shall suspend the voter registration deadlines otherwise provided by law.

 

§ 23-15-693. Completion of declaration specified in federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

The absent voter, upon receipt of the absentee ballot, shall complete the declaration specified in the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 USC Section 1973ff et seq.

 

§ 23-15-695. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2010, ch. 446, § 12, effective July 9, 2010, (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the repeal of this section.)
§ 23-15-695. [Derived from 1972 Code § 23-9-525 [Codes, 1942, § 3203-210; Laws, 1972, ch. 490, § 210; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 342]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 227; Laws, 2000, ch. 519, § 5, eff from and after August 7, 2000 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section.]

§ 23-15-697. Mailing of envelope to registrar.

When the absentee ballot has been voted and the envelope sealed, signed and certified to as provided above, the absentee voter shall mail the envelope containing the ballot to the registrar.

 

§ 23-15-699. Transmission of absentee ballots and balloting materials to absent voters and receipt of voted absentee ballots, federal postcard applications and Federal Write-In-Absentee Ballots by mail, facsimile or electronic mail delivery.

(1) Absent voters who have requested to receive absentee ballots and balloting materials may choose to receive such ballots and balloting materials by mail, facsimile device (FAX) or electronic mail delivery (e-mail). The Secretary of State shall establish procedures that allow an absent voter to make the choice authorized by this subsection.
(2) Consistent with the choice that the absent voter exercises pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, the registrar shall, in addition to mail, be authorized to use electronic facsimile (FAX) devices and electronic mail delivery (e-mail) to transmit balloting materials and absentee ballots. If the absent voter does not indicate a preference, delivery of such information shall be by mail.
(3) The registrar is authorized to receive by electronic facsimile (FAX) devices and electronic mail delivery (e-mail):

(a) Voted absentee ballots;
(b) Completed federal postcard applications as described in Section 23-15-677, which shall serve to request absentee ballots or to register to vote or to do both simultaneously; and
(c) Completed Federal Write-In-Absentee Ballots as described in Section 23-15-692.

(4) Once the registrar has received a voted absentee ballot pursuant to this section, he shall place the ballot in an absentee ballot envelope designated for absentee ballots under this subarticle and fill out the required information on the envelope. The registrar shall then notate on the envelope that the ballot was received under this section and a signature across the flap of the envelope shall not be required. Except as provided in this section, absentee ballots received under this subsection shall be treated in the same manner as other absentee ballots received under this subarticle.
(5) Access to voted absentee ballots before they are placed in an absentee ballot envelope shall be strictly limited to election officials who must process the ballot and any election official who views the ballots before they are placed in the envelope shall have the duty to protect the secrecy of the ballot choices; however, the failure of an election official to comply with this subsection shall not invalidate the ballot.
(6) Each circuit clerk shall furnish a suitable electronic mail delivery (e-mail) address that can be used to allow absent voters to comply with the provisions of this subarticle. Absentee ballots returned by any absent voter as defined in Section 23-15-673 must be received by the registrar by 7:00 p.m. on the date of the election.

 

§ 23-15-701. Compliance with Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act; Secretary of State granted emergency powers over conduct of elections during armed conflict.

(1) The Secretary of State shall adopt such rules which are necessary and essential to implement this subarticle and to bring the state into compliance with the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 USCS Section 1973ff et seq. The Secretary of State shall furnish the Legislature with a copy of such rules sixty (60) days after adoption by the Secretary of State.
(2) The Secretary of State may exercise emergency powers concerning absentee voting and registration of military personnel over any election during an armed conflict or other military contingencies involving United States Armed Forces or mobilization of those forces, including state national guard or reserve components. The Secretary of State shall adopt rules describing the emergency powers and the situations in which the powers will be exercised.

 

SUBARTICLE C. ABSENTEE VOTER LAW

§ 23-15-711. Short title.

The title of Sections 23-15-711 through 23-15-721 shall be the Mississippi Absentee Voter Law.

§ 23-15-713. Electors qualified to vote as absentees.

For the purpose of this subarticle, any duly qualified elector may vote as provided in this subarticle if he be one who falls within the following categories:

(a) Any qualified elector who is a bona fide student, teacher or administrator at any college, university, junior college, high, junior high, or elementary grade school whose studies or employment at such institution necessitates his absence from the county of his voting residence on the date of any primary, general or special election, or the spouse and dependents of said student, teacher or administrator if such spouse or dependent(s) maintain a common domicile, outside of the county of his voting residence, with such student, teacher or administrator.
(b) Any qualified elector who is required to be away from his place of residence on any election day due to his employment as an employee of a member of the Mississippi congressional delegation and the spouse and dependents of such person if he or she shall be residing with such absentee voter away from the county of the spouse’s voting residence.
(c) Any qualified elector who is away from his county of residence on election day for any reason.
(d) Any person who has a temporary or permanent physical disability and who, because of such disability, is unable to vote in person without substantial hardship to himself or others, or whose attendance at the voting place could reasonably cause danger to himself or others.
(e) The parent, spouse or dependent of a person with a temporary or permanent physical disability who is hospitalized outside of his county of residence or more than fifty (50) miles distant from his residence, if the parent, spouse or dependent will be with such person on election day.
(f) Any person who is sixty-five (65) years of age or older.
(g) Any member of the Mississippi congressional delegation absent from Mississippi on election day, and the spouse and dependents of such member of the congressional delegation.
(h) Any qualified elector who will be unable to vote in person because he is required to be at work on election day during the times at which the polls will be open.

 

§ 23-15-715. Applications for absentee ballots.

Any elector desiring an absentee ballot as provided in this subarticle may secure same if:

(a) Not more than forty-five (45) days nor later than 12:00 noon on the Saturday immediately preceding elections held on Tuesday, the Thursday immediately preceding elections held on Saturday, or the second day immediately preceding the date of elections held on other days, he shall appear in person before the registrar of the county in which he resides, or for municipal elections he shall appear in person before the city clerk of the municipality in which he resides and, when the elector so appears, he shall execute and file an application as provided in Section 23-15-627 and vote by absentee ballot, except that if the ballot has not been printed by forty-five (45) days preceding the election, the elector may appear and file an application anytime before the election. Then the absentee ballot shall be mailed by the circuit clerk to the elector as soon as the ballot has been printed.
(b) Within forty-five (45) days next prior to any election, any elector who cannot comply with paragraph (a) of this section by reason of temporarily residing outside the county, or any person who has a temporary or permanent physical disability, persons who are sixty-five (65) years of age or older, or any person who is the parent, spouse or dependent of a temporarily or permanently physically disabled person who is hospitalized outside of his county of residence or more than fifty (50) miles away from his residence and such parent, spouse or dependent will be with such person on election day, may make application for an absentee ballot by mailing the appropriate application to the registrar. Only persons temporarily residing out of the county of their residence, persons having a temporary or permanent physical disability, persons who are sixty-five (65) years of age or older, or any person who is the parent, spouse or dependent of a temporarily or permanently physically disabled person who is hospitalized outside of his county of residence or more than fifty (50) miles away from his residence, and such parent, spouse or dependent will be with such person on election day, may obtain absentee ballots by mail under the provisions of this subsection and as provided by Section 23-15-713. Applications of persons temporarily residing outside the county shall be sworn to and subscribed before an official who is authorized to administer oaths or other official authorized to witness absentee balloting as provided in this chapter, said application to be accompanied by such verifying affidavits as required by this chapter. The applications of persons having a temporary or permanent physical disability shall not be required to be accompanied by an affidavit but shall be witnessed and signed by a person eighteen (18) years of age or older. The registrar shall send to such absent voter a proper absentee voter ballot within twenty-four (24) hours, or as soon thereafter as the ballots are available, containing the names of all candidates who qualify or the proposition to be voted on in such election, and with such ballot there shall be sent an official envelope containing upon it in printed form the recitals and data hereinafter required.

 

§ 23-15-717. Completion of application forms.

Any elector enumerated in Section 23-15-713 applying for an absentee ballot shall complete an application form as provided in Section 23-15-627, and said elector shall fill in the application as is appropriate for his particular situation.

 

§ 23-15-719. Delivery of ballots to applicant; completion of ballots; affidavit; delivery of ballots to registrar.

(1) Immediately upon completion of an application filed pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (a) of Section 23-15-715, the registrar shall deliver the necessary ballots to the applicant. The registrar shall identify the applicant by requiring him to present identification as required by Section 23-15-563, and shall then deliver the ballots to the applicant by mail or to the applicant in the registrar’s office. The registrar shall not personally hand deliver ballots to voters, unless he delivers the ballots in the office of the registrar. The elector shall fill in his ballot in secret. After the applicant has properly marked the ballot and properly folded it, he shall deposit it in the envelope furnished him by the registrar.
After he has sealed the envelope, he shall subscribe and swear to an affidavit in the following form, which shall be printed on the back of the envelope containing the applicant’s ballot:

“STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

COUNTY OF __________
I, _____, do solemnly swear that this envelope contains the ballot marked by me indicating my choice of the candidates or propositions to be submitted at the election
to be held on the _____ day of _____, 2_____, and I hereby authorize the
registrar to place this envelope in the ballot box on my behalf, and I further authorize the election managers to open this envelope and place my ballot among the other ballots cast before such ballots are counted, and record my name on the poll list as if I were present in person and voted.

I further swear that I marked the enclosed ballot in secret.

_______________

(Signature of voter)

SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED before me, _____, this the _____ day of_____, 2_____.

(Registrar) _______________

(Registrar)”

After the completion of the requirements of this section, the elector shall deliver the envelope containing the ballot to the registrar.

(2) If the voter has received assistance in marking his ballot, the person providing the assistance shall complete the following form which shall be printed on the back of the envelope containing the applicant’s ballot:

“CERTIFICATE OF PERSON PROVIDING VOTER ASSISTANCE

(To be completed only if the voter has received assistance in marking the enclosed ballot.) I hereby certify that the above-named voter declared to me that he or she is blind, temporarily or permanently physically disabled, or cannot read or write, and that the voter requested that I assist the voter in marking the enclosed absentee ballot. I hereby certify that the ballot preferences on the enclosed ballot are those communicated by the voter to me, and that I have marked the enclosed ballot in accordance with the voter’s instructions.

_______________

Signature of person providing assistance

_______________

Printed name of person providing assistance

_______________

Address of person providing assistance

_______________

Date and time assistance provided

_______________

Family relationship to voter (if any)”
(3) The envelope used pursuant to this section shall not contain the form prescribed by Section 23-15-635 and shall have printed on the flap on the back of the envelope in bold print and in a distinguishing color, the following: “YOUR VOTE WILL BE REJECTED AND NOT COUNTED IF THIS ENVELOPE IS NOT SIGNED ACROSS THE FLAP OF THIS ENVELOPE BY YOU AND AN ATTESTING WITNESS.”

 

§ 23-15-721. Procedures applicable to electors temporarily residing outside county and to electors who are physically disabled; mailing of ballots to registrar.

(1) Electors temporarily residing outside the county and obtaining an absentee ballot under the provisions of paragraph (b) of Section 23-15-715 shall appear before any official authorized to administer oaths or other official authorized to witness absentee balloting as provided in this chapter. The elector shall exhibit to such official his absentee ballot unmarked and thereupon proceed in secret to fill in his ballot. After the elector has properly marked the ballot and properly folded it, he shall deposit it in the envelope furnished him. After he has sealed the envelope he shall deliver it to the official before whom he is appearing and shall subscribe and swear to the elector’s certificate provided for in Section 23-15-635, which affidavit shall be printed on the back of the envelope as provided for in Section 23-15-635.
(2) Electors who are temporarily or permanently physically disabled shall sign the elector’s certificate and the certificate of attesting witness shall be signed by any person eighteen (18) years of age or older.
(3) After the completion of the requirements of this section, the elector shall mail the envelope containing the ballot to the registrar in the county wherein said elector is qualified to vote. Except as otherwise provided by Section 23-15-699 and excluding presidential ballots as provided for in Sections 23-15-731 and 23-15-733, the ballots must be received by the registrar prior to 5:00 p.m. on the day preceding the election to be counted.

 

SUBARTICLE D. PROVISION APPLICABLE TO PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

§ 23-15-731. General provisions.

Any presidential absentee ballots received by the registrar subsequent to the delivery of ballot boxes to the election managers and prior to the time for the closing of the polls on election day shall be retained by the registrar and shall be delivered, together with the applications of the qualified absentee elector to an election official designated to receive them. The registrar shall receive a receipt from the designated election official for all such ballots and applications delivered. The designated election officials shall, upon the canvassing of the returns, count such ballots as if delivered to the proper precincts and such ballots shall be considered valid for all purposes as if they had been actually deposited in the proper precinct ballot boxes. The appropriate election officials shall examine the affidavit of each envelope. If the officials are satisfied that the affidavit is sufficient and that the absentee voter is otherwise qualified to vote, an official shall announce the name of the voter and shall give any person present an opportunity to challenge in like manner and for the same cause as the voter could have been challenged had he presented himself personally in such precinct to vote. The ineligibility of the voter to vote by absentee ballot shall be a ground for a challenge. The officials shall consider any absentee voter challenged when a person has previously filed a written challenge of such voter’s right to vote. The election officials shall handle any such challenge in the same manner as other challenged ballots are handled, and if the challenge is not affirmed, the officials shall then open the envelope. The officials shall then open the envelope in such manner as not to destroy the affidavit printed thereon and shall deposit the ballot marked “OFFICIAL ABSENTEE BALLOT,” in a ballot box reserved for absentee ballots. The commissioners shall endorse on their pollbooks a proper notation to indicate that the absentee voter has voted in such election by absentee ballot.

 

§ 23-15-733. Disposition of ballots received after election.

The registrar shall keep safely and unopened all official presidential absentee ballots which are received subsequent to the election. Upon receipt of such ballot, the registrar shall write the day and hour of the receipt of the ballot on its envelope. All such absentee ballots returned to the registrar shall be safely kept unopened by the registrar for the period of time required for the preservation of ballots used in the election, and shall then, without being opened, be destroyed in like manner as the used ballots of the election. Such information shall be processed through the Statewide Election Management System.

 

§ 23-15-735. Delivery of absentee ballots to voters in person.

Absentee ballots shall not be delivered in person to an absentee voter or to any other person except when an absentee voter shall have properly received an absentee ballot pursuant to Section 23-15-719.

SUBARTICLE E. GENERAL PROVISIONS

§ 23-15-751. Penalties for offenses by registrar or commissioner of elections or officers taking affidavits.

If any registrar or commissioner of elections shall refuse or neglect to perform any of the duties prescribed by Sections 23-15-621 through 23-15-735, or shall knowingly permit any person to sign a false affidavit or otherwise knowingly permit any person to violate Sections 23-15-621 through 23-15-735, or shall violate any of the provisions thereof, or if any officer taking the affidavits as provided in said acts shall make any false statement in his certificate thereto attached, he shall, upon conviction, be deemed guilty of a crime and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or by imprisonment in the Penitentiary not exceeding one (1) year, and shall be removed from office.

 

§ 23-15-753. Penalties for vote fraud.

(1) Any person who willfully, unlawfully and feloniously procures, seeks to procure, or seeks to influence the vote of any person voting by absentee ballot, by the payment of money, the promise of payment of money, or by the delivery of any other item of value or promise to give the voter any item of value, or by promising or giving the voter any favor or reward in an effort to influence his vote, or any person who aids, abets, assists, encourages, helps, or causes any person voting an absentee ballot to violate any provision of law pertaining to absentee voting, or any person who sells his vote for money, favor, or reward, has been paid or promised money, a reward, a favor or favors, or any other item of value, or any person who shall willfully swear falsely to any affidavit provided for in Sections 23-15-621 through 23-15-735, shall be guilty of the crime of “vote fraud” and, upon conviction, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or by imprisonment in the county jail for no more than one (1) year, or by both fine and imprisonment, or by being sentenced to the State Penitentiary for not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years.
(2) It shall be unlawful for any person who pays or compensates another person for assisting voters in marking their absentee ballots to base the pay or compensation on the number of absentee voters assisted or the number of absentee ballots cast by persons who have received the assistance. Any person who violates this section, upon conviction shall, be fined not less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or imprisoned in the Penitentiary not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years, or both.

§ 23-15-755. Applicability of Sections 23-15-621 through 23-15-735.

All of the provisions of Sections 23-15-621 through 23-15-735 shall be applicable, insofar as possible, to municipal, primary, preferential, general and special elections, and wherever herein any duty is imposed or any power or authority is conferred upon the county registrar, county election commissioners, or county executive committee with reference to a state and county election, such duty shall likewise be imposed and such power and authority shall likewise be conferred upon the municipal registrar, municipal election commission or municipal executive committee with reference to any municipal election. Any duty, obligation or responsibility imposed upon the registrar or upon the election commissioners, when applicable, shall likewise be conferred upon and devolved upon the appropriate party, executive committee or officials in any party primary.

 

ARTICLE 21. PRESIDENTIAL AND VICE-PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS

 

SUBARTICLE A. SELECTION OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS BY POLITICAL PARTIES

§ 23-15-771. Selection of electors at state convention for place on primary election ballot.

At the state convention, a slate of electors composed of the number of electors allotted to this state, which said electors announce a clearly expressed design and purpose to support the candidates for President and Vice-President of the national political party with which the said party of this state has had an affiliation and identity of purpose heretofore, shall be designated and selected for a place upon the primary election ballot to be held as herein provided.

 

SUBARTICLE B. SELECTION OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS AT GENERAL ELECTION

§ 23-15-781. Selection of electors of President and Vice-President by qualified electors of state at large.

The number of electors of President and Vice-President of the United States to which this state may be entitled, shall be chosen by the qualified electors of the state at large, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November in the year in which an election of President and Vice-President shall occur.

 

§ 23-15-783. Applicability of laws regulating general elections.

The laws regulating the general elections shall in all respects apply to and govern elections of electors of President and Vice-President.

 

§ 23-15-785. Certificates of nomination and nominating petitions; preparation of official ballots.

(1) When presidential electors are to be chosen, the Secretary of State of Mississippi shall certify to the circuit clerks of the several counties the names of all candidates for President and Vice President who are nominated by any national convention or other like assembly of any political party or by written petition signed by at least one thousand (1,000) qualified voters of this state.
(2) The certificate of nomination by a political party convention must be signed by the presiding officer and secretary of the convention and by the chairman of the state executive committee of the political party making the nomination. Any nominating petition, to be valid, must contain the signatures as well as the addresses of the petitioners. The certificates and petitions must be filed with the State Board of Election Commissioners by filing them in the Office of the Secretary of State by 5:00 p.m. not less than sixty (60) days previous to the day of the election.

(3) Each certificate of nomination and nominating petition must be accompanied by a list of the names and addresses of persons, who shall be qualified voters of this state, equal in number to the number of presidential electors to be chosen. Each person so listed shall execute the following statement which shall be attached to the certificate or petition when it is filed with the State Board of Election Commissioners: “I do hereby consent and do hereby agree to serve as elector for President and Vice President of the United States, if elected to that position, and do hereby agree that, if so elected, I shall cast my ballot as such for for President and for Vice President of the United States” (inserting in said blank spaces the respective names of the persons named as nominees for said respective offices in the certificate to which this statement is attached).
(4) The State Board of Election Commissioners and any other official charged with the preparation of official ballots shall place on such official ballots the words “PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS FOR (here insert the name of the candidate for President, the word ‘AND’ and the name of the candidate for Vice President)” in lieu of placing the names of such presidential electors on the official ballots, and a vote cast therefor shall be counted and shall be in all respects effective as a vote for each of the presidential electors representing those candidates for President and Vice President of the United States. In the case of unpledged electors, the State Board of Election Commissioners and any other official charged with the preparation of official ballots shall place on such official ballots the words “UNPLEDGED ELECTOR(S) (here insert the name(s) of individual unpledged elector(s) if placed upon the ballot based upon a petition granted in the manner provided by law stating the individual name(s) of the elector(s) rather than a slate of electors).”

§ 23-15-787. Notification of persons elected.

The Secretary of State shall, immediately after ascertaining the result, transmit by mail a notice, in writing, to the persons elected.

 

§ 23-15-789. Meeting of electors; voting; appointments to fill vacancies.

The electors chosen shall meet at the seat of government of the state on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December next following their election, and shall there give their votes for President and Vice-President of the United States, and shall make return thereof agreeably to the laws of the United States; and should any elector so chosen fail to attend and give his vote, the other electors attending shall appoint some person or persons to fill the vacancy or vacancies, who shall attend and vote as electors; and such appointment shall be forthwith reported to the Secretary of State.

§ 23-15-791. Allowance to electors for travel and for attendance.

Each elector shall be allowed the sum of Four Dollars ($4.00) for every twenty (20) miles of travel, to be estimated by the usual land route, in going from his home to and returning from the seat of government to give his vote, and Four Dollars ($4.00) for every day he shall attend there as an elector, to be paid by the State Treasurer, on the warrant of the auditor.

ARTICLE 23. DISCLOSURE OF CAMPAIGN FINANCES

 

§ 23-15-801. Definitions.

[Effective until January 1, 2018, this section will read]
(a) “Election” shall mean a general, special, primary or runoff election.
(b) “Candidate” shall mean an individual who seeks nomination for election, or election, to any elective office other than a federal elective office and for purposes of this article, an individual shall be deemed to seek nomination for election, or election:

(i) If such individual has received contributions aggregating in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) or has made expenditures aggregating in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) or for a candidate for the Legislature or any statewide or state district office, by the qualifying deadlines specified in Sections 23-15-299 and 23-15-977, whichever occurs first; or

(ii) If such individual has given his or her consent to another person to receive contributions or make expenditures on behalf of such individual and if such person has received such contributions aggregating in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) during a calendar year, or has made such expenditures aggregating in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) during a calendar year.

(c) “Political committee” shall mean any committee, party, club, association, political action committee, campaign committee or other groups of persons or affiliated organizations which receives contributions aggregating in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) during a calendar year or which makes expenditures aggregating in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) during a calendar year for the purpose of influencing or attempting to influence the action of voters for or against the nomination for election, or election, of one or more candidates, or balloted measures and shall, in addition, include each political party registered with the Secretary of State.
(d) “Affiliated organization” shall mean any organization which is not a political committee, but which directly or indirectly establishes, administers or financially supports a political committee.
(e)

(i) “Contribution” shall include any gift, subscription, loan, advance or deposit of money or anything of value made by any person or political committee for the purpose of influencing any election for elective office or balloted measure;
(ii) “Contribution” shall not include the value of services provided without compensation by any individual who volunteers on behalf of a candidate or political committee; or the cost of any food or beverage for use in any candidate’s campaign or for use by or on behalf of any political committee of a political party;
(iii) “Contribution to a political party” includes any gift, subscription, loan, advance or deposit of money or anything of value made by any person, political committee, or other organization to a political party and to any committee, subcommittee, campaign committee, political committee and other groups of persons and affiliated organizations of the political party.
(iv) “Contribution to a political party” shall not include the value of services provided without compensation by any individual who volunteers on behalf of a political party or a candidate of a political party.

(f)

(i) “Expenditure” shall include any purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, gift of money or anything of value, made by any person or political committee for the purpose of influencing any balloted measure or election for elective office; and a written contract, promise, or agreement to make an expenditure;
(ii) “Expenditure” shall not include any news story, commentary or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, unless such facilities are owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate; or nonpartisan activity designed to encourage individuals to vote or to register to vote;
(iii) “Expenditure by a political party” includes 1. any purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, gift of money or anything of value, made by any political party and by any contractor, subcontractor, agent, and consultant to the political party; and 2. a written contract, promise, or agreement to make such an expenditure.

(g) The term “identification” shall mean:

(i) In the case of any individual, the name, the mailing address, and the occupation of such individual, as well as the name of his or her employer; and
(ii) In the case of any other person, the full name and address of such person.

(h) The term “political party” shall mean an association, committee or organization which nominates a candidate for election to any elective office whose name appears on the election ballot as the candidate of such association, committee or organization.
(i) The term “person” shall mean any individual, family, firm, corporation, partnership, association or other legal entity.
(j) The term “independent expenditure” shall mean an expenditure by a person expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate which is made without cooperation or consultation with any candidate or any authorized committee or agent of such candidate, and which is not made in concert with or at the request or suggestion of any candidate or any authorized committee or agent of such candidate.
(k) The term “clearly identified” shall mean that:

(i) The name of the candidate involved appears; or
(ii) A photograph or drawing of the candidate appears; or
(iii) The identity of the candidate is apparent by unambiguous reference.

[Effective from and after January 1, 2018, this section will read:]
(a) “Election” means a general, special, primary or runoff election.
(b) “Candidate” means an individual who seeks nomination for election, or election, to any elective office other than a federal elective office. For purposes of this article, an individual shall be deemed to seek nomination for election, or election:

(i) If the individual has received contributions aggregating in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) or has made expenditures aggregating in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) or for a candidate for the Legislature or any statewide or state district office, by the qualifying deadlines specified in Sections 23-15-299 and 23-15-977, whichever occurs first; or
(ii) If the individual has given his or her consent to another person to receive contributions or make expenditures on behalf of the individual and if the other person has received contributions aggregating in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) during a calendar year, or has made expenditures aggregating in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) during a calendar year.

(c) “Political committee” means any committee, party, club, association, political action committee, campaign committee or other groups of persons or affiliated organizations that receives contributions aggregating in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) during a calendar year or that makes expenditures aggregating in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) during a calendar year for the purpose of influencing or attempting to influence the action of voters for or against the nomination for election, or election, of one or more candidates, or balloted measures. Political committee shall, in addition, include each political party registered with the Secretary of State.
(d) “Affiliated organization” means any organization that is not a political committee, but that directly or indirectly establishes, administers or financially supports a political committee.
(e)

(i) “Contribution” shall include any gift, subscription, loan, advance or deposit of money or anything of value made by any person or political committee for the purpose of influencing any election for elective office or balloted measure;
(ii) “Contribution” shall not include the value of services provided without compensation by any individual who volunteers on behalf of a candidate or political committee; or the cost of any food or beverage for use in any candidate’s campaign or for use by or on behalf of any political committee of a political party;
(iii) “Contribution to a political party” includes any gift, subscription, loan, advance or deposit of money or anything of value made by any person, political committee, or other organization to a political party and to any committee, subcommittee, campaign committee, political committee and other groups of persons and affiliated organizations of the political party;
(iv) “Contribution to a political party” shall not include the value of services provided without compensation by any individual who volunteers on behalf of a political party or a candidate of a political party.

(f)

(i) “Expenditure” shall include any purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, gift of money or anything of value, made by any person or political committee for the purpose of influencing any balloted measure or election for elective office; and a written contract, promise, or agreement to make an expenditure;

(ii) “Expenditure” shall not include any news story, commentary or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, unless the facilities are owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate; or nonpartisan activity designed to encourage individuals to vote or to register to vote;
(iii) “Expenditure by a political party” includes 1. any purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, gift of money or anything of value, made by any political party and by any contractor, subcontractor, agent, and consultant to the political party; and 2. a written contract, promise, or agreement to make such an expenditure.

(g) The term “identification” shall mean:

(i) In the case of any individual, the name, the mailing address, and the occupation of such individual, as well as the name of his or her employer; and
(ii) In the case of any other person, the full name and address of the person.

(h) The term “political party” shall mean an association, committee or organization which nominates a candidate for election to any elective office whose name appears on the election ballot as the candidate of the association, committee or organization.
(i) The term “person” shall mean any individual, family, firm, corporation, partnership, association or other legal entity.
(j) The term “independent expenditure” shall mean an expenditure by a person expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate that is made without cooperation or consultation with any candidate or any authorized committee or agent of the candidate, and that is not made in concert with or at the request or suggestion of any candidate or any authorized committee or agent of the candidate.
(k) The term “clearly identified” shall mean that:

(i) The name of the candidate involved appears; or
(ii) A photograph or drawing of the candidate appears; or
(iii) The identity of the candidate is apparent by unambiguous reference.

§ 23-15-803. Registration of political committees; administrative penalties for failure to comply.

[Effective until January 1, 2018, this section will read:]
(a) Statements of organization. Each political committee shall file a statement of organization no later than ten (10) days after receipt of contributions aggregating in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00), or no later than ten (10) days after having made expenditures aggregating in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00).
(b) Contents of statements. The statement of organization of a political committee shall include:

(i) The name and address of the committee and all officers;
(ii) Designation of a director of the committee and a custodian of books and accounts of the committee, who shall be designated treasurer; and
(iii) If the committee is authorized by a candidate, the name, address, office sought, and party affiliation of the candidate.

(c) Change of information in statements. Any change in information previously submitted in a statement of organization shall be reported and noted on the next regularly scheduled report.

[Effective from and after January 1, 2018, this section will read:]
(1) Each political committee shall file a statement of organization which must be received by the Secretary of State no later than forty-eight (48) hours after:

(a) Receipt of contributions aggregating in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00), or
(b) Having made expenditures aggregating in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00).

(2) The content of the statement of organization of a political committee shall include:

(a) The name, address, officers, and members of the committee;
(b) The designation of a chair of the organization and a custodian of the financial books, records and accounts of the organization, who shall be designated treasurer; and
(c) If the committee is authorized by a candidate, then the name, address, office sought and party affiliation of the candidate.

(3) Any change in information previously submitted in a statement of organization shall be reported and noted on the next regularly scheduled report.
(4) In addition to any other penalties provided by law, the Mississippi Ethics Commission may impose administrative penalties against any political committee that fails to comply with the requirements of this section in an amount not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) per violation. The notice, hearing and appeals provisions of Section 23-15-813 shall apply to any action taken pursuant to this subsection (4). The Mississippi Ethics Commission may pursue judicial enforcement of any penalties issued pursuant to this section.

 

§ 23-15-805. Filing of reports; public inspection and preservation of reports.

[Effective until January 1, 2018, this section will read:]
(a) Candidates for state, state district, and legislative district offices, and every political committee, which makes reportable contributions to or expenditures in support of or in opposition to a candidate for any such office or makes reportable contributions to or expenditures in support of or in opposition to a statewide ballot measure, shall file all reports required under this article with the Office of the Secretary of State.
(b) Candidates for county or county district office, and every political committee which makes reportable contributions to or expenditures in support of or in opposition to a candidate for such office or makes reportable contributions to or expenditures in support of or in opposition to a countywide ballot measure or a ballot measure affecting part of a county, excepting a municipal ballot measure, shall file all reports required by this section in the office of the circuit clerk of the county in which the election occurs. The circuit clerk shall forward copies of all reports to the Office of the Secretary of State.
(c) Candidates for municipal office, and every political committee which makes reportable contributions to or expenditures in support of or in opposition to a candidate for such office, or makes reportable contributions to or expenditures in support of or in opposition to a municipal ballot measure shall file all reports required by this article in the office of the municipal clerk of the municipality in which the election occurs. The municipal clerk shall forward copies of all reports to the Office of the Secretary of State.
(d) The Secretary of State, the circuit clerks and the municipal clerks shall make all reports received under this subsection available for public inspection and copying and shall preserve such reports for a period of five (5) years.
(e) The provisions of this section applicable to the reporting by a political committee of contributions and expenditures regarding statewide ballot measures shall apply to the statewide special election for the purpose of selecting the official state flag provided for in Section 1 of Laws, 2001, ch. 301.

[Effective from and after January 1, 2018, this section will read:]
(a) Candidates for state, state district, and legislative district offices, and every political committee, which makes reportable contributions to or expenditures in support of or in opposition to a candidate for any such office or makes reportable contributions to or expenditures in support of or in opposition to a statewide ballot measure, shall file all reports required under this article with the Office of the Secretary of State.
(b) Candidates for county or county district office, and every political committee which makes reportable contributions to or expenditures in support of or in opposition to a candidate for such office or makes reportable contributions to or expenditures in support of or in opposition to a countywide ballot measure or a ballot measure affecting part of a county, excepting a municipal ballot measure, shall file all reports required by this section in the office of the circuit clerk of the county in which the election occurs, or directly to the Office of the Secretary of State via facsimile, electronic mail, postal mail or hand delivery. The circuit clerk shall forward copies of all reports to the Office of the Secretary of State.
(c) Candidates for municipal office, and every political committee which makes reportable contributions to or expenditures in support of or in opposition to a candidate for such office, or makes reportable contributions to or expenditures in support of or in opposition to a municipal ballot measure shall file all reports required by this article in the office of the municipal clerk of the municipality in which the election occurs, or directly to the Office of the Secretary of State via facsimile, electronic mail, postal mail or hand delivery. The municipal clerk shall forward copies of all reports to the Office of the Secretary of State.
(d) The Secretary of State, the circuit clerks and the municipal clerks shall make all reports received under this subsection available for public inspection and copying and shall preserve the reports for a period of five (5) years.

§ 23-15-807. Reporting requirements; contributions and disbursements of candidates and political committees.

[Effective until January 1, 2018, this section will read:]
(a) Each candidate or political committee shall file reports of contributions and disbursements in accordance with the provisions of this section. All candidates or political committees required to report may terminate its obligation to report only upon submitting a final report that it will no longer receive any contributions or make any disbursement and that such candidate or committee has no outstanding debts or obligations. The candidate, treasurer or chief executive officer shall sign each such report.
(b) Candidates who are seeking election, or nomination for election, and political committees that make expenditures for the purpose of influencing or attempting to influence the action of voters for or against the nomination for election, or election, of one or more candidates or balloted measures at such election, shall file the following reports:

(i) In any calendar year during which there is a regularly scheduled election, a preelection report, which shall be filed no later than the seventh day before any election in which such candidate or political committee has accepted contributions or made expenditures and which shall be complete as of the tenth day before such election;
(ii) In 1987 and every fourth year thereafter, periodic reports, which shall be filed no later than the tenth day after April 30, May 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31, and which shall be complete as of the last day of each period; and
(iii) In any calendar years except 1987 and except every fourth year thereafter, a report covering the calendar year which shall be filed no later than January 31 of the following calendar year.

(c) All candidates for judicial office as defined in Section 23-15-975, or their political committees, shall file in the year in which they are to be elected, periodic reports which shall be filed no later than the tenth day after April 30, May 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31.
(d) Contents of reports. Each report under this article shall disclose:

(i) For the reporting period and the calendar year, the total amount of all contributions and the total amount of all expenditures of the candidate or reporting committee which shall include those required to be identified pursuant to item (ii) of this paragraph as well as the total of all other contributions and expenditures during the calendar year. Such reports shall be cumulative during the calendar year to which they relate;
(ii) The identification of:

1. Each person or political committee who makes a contribution to the reporting candidate or political committee during the reporting period, whose contribution or contributions within the calendar year have an aggregate amount or value in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) together with the date and amount of any such contribution;
2. Each person or organization, candidate or political committee who receives an expenditure, payment or other transfer from the reporting candidate, political committee or its agent, employee, designee, contractor, consultant or other person or persons acting in its behalf during the reporting period when the expenditure, payment or other transfer to such person, organization, candidate or political committee within the calendar year have an aggregate value or amount in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) together with the date and amount of such expenditure.

(iii) The total amount of cash on hand of each reporting candidate and reporting political committee;
(iv) In addition to the contents of reports specified in items (i), (ii) and (iii) of this paragraph, each political party shall disclose:

1. Each person or political committee who makes a contribution to a political party during the reporting period and whose contribution or contributions to a political party within the calendar year have an aggregate amount or value in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00), together with the date and amount of the contribution;
2. Each person or organization who receives an expenditure by a political party or expenditures by a political party during the reporting period when the expenditure or expenditures to the person or organization within the calendar year have an aggregate value or amount in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00), together with the date and amount of the expenditure.

(e) The appropriate office specified in Section 23-15-805 must be in actual receipt of the reports specified in this article by 5:00 p.m. on the dates specified in paragraph (b) of this section. If the date specified in paragraph (b) of this section shall fall on a weekend or legal holiday then the report shall be due in the appropriate office at 5:00 p.m. on the first working day before the date specified in paragraph (b) of this section. The reporting candidate or reporting political committee shall ensure that the reports are delivered to the appropriate office by the filing deadline. The Secretary of State may approve specific means of electronic transmission of completed campaign finance disclosure reports, which may include, but not be limited to, transmission by electronic facsimile (FAX) devices.
(f)

(i) If any contribution of more than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) is received by a candidate or candidate’s political committee after the tenth day, but more than forty-eight (48) hours before 12:01 a.m. of the day of the election, the candidate or political committee shall notify the appropriate office designated in Section 23-15-805, within forty-eight (48) hours of receipt of the contribution. The notification shall include:

1. The name of the receiving candidate;
2. The name of the receiving candidate’s political committee, if any;
3. The office sought by the candidate;
4. The identification of the contributor;
5. The date of receipt;
6. The amount of the contribution;
7. If the contribution is in-kind, a description of the in-kind contribution; and
8. The signature of the candidate or the treasurer or director of the candidate’s political committee.

(ii) The notification shall be in writing, and may be transmitted by overnight mail, courier service, or other reliable means, including electronic facsimile (FAX), but the candidate or candidate’s committee shall ensure that the notification shall in fact be received in the appropriate office designated in Section 23-15-805 within forty-eight (48) hours of the contribution.

[Effective from and after January 1, 2018, this section will read:]x40
(a) Each candidate or political committee shall file reports of contributions and disbursements in accordance with the provisions of this section. All candidates or political committees required to report such contributions and disbursements may terminate the obligation to report only upon submitting a final report that contributions will no longer be received or disbursements made and that the candidate or committee has no outstanding debts or obligations. The candidate, treasurer or chief executive officer shall sign the report.
(b) Candidates seeking election, or nomination for election, and political committees making expenditures to influence or attempt to influence voters for or against the nomination for election of one or more candidates or balloted measures at such election, shall file the following reports:

(i) In any calendar year during which there is a regularly scheduled election, a pre-election report shall be filed no later than the seventh day before any election in which the candidate or political committee has accepted contributions or made expenditures and shall be completed as of the tenth day before the election;
(ii) In 1987 and every fourth year thereafter, periodic reports shall be filed no later than the tenth day after April 30, May 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31, and shall be completed as of the last day of each period;
(iii) In any calendar years except 1987 and except every fourth year thereafter, a report covering the calendar year shall be filed no later than January 31 of the following calendar year; and
(iv) Except as otherwise provided in the requirements of paragraph (i) of this subsection (b), unopposed candidates are not required to file pre-election reports but must file all other reports required by paragraphs (ii) and (iii) of this subsection (b).

(c) All candidates for judicial office as defined in Section 23-15-975, or their political committees, shall file periodic reports in the year in which they are to be elected no later than the tenth day after April 30, May 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31.
(d) Each report under this article shall disclose:

(i) For the reporting period and the calendar year, the total amount of all contributions and the total amount of all expenditures of the candidate or reporting committee, including those required to be identified pursuant to paragraph (ii) of this subsection (d) as well as the total of all other contributions and expenditures during the calendar year. The reports shall be cumulative during the calendar year to which they relate;
(ii) The identification of:

1. Each person or political committee who makes a contribution to the reporting candidate or political committee during the reporting period, whose contribution or contributions within the calendar year have an aggregate amount or value in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) together with the date and amount of any such contribution;
2. Each person or organization, candidate or political committee who receives an expenditure, payment or other transfer from the reporting candidate, political committee or its agent, employee, designee, contractor, consultant or other person or persons acting in its behalf during the reporting period when the expenditure, payment or other transfer to the person, organization, candidate or political committee within the calendar year have an aggregate value or amount in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) together with the date and amount of the expenditure;

(iii) The total amount of cash on hand of each reporting candidate and reporting political committee;
(iv) In addition to the contents of reports specified in paragraphs (i), (ii) and (iii) of this subsection (d), each political party shall disclose:

1. Each person or political committee who makes a contribution to a political party during the reporting period and whose contribution or contributions to a political party within the calendar year have an aggregate amount or value in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00), together with the date and amount of the contribution;
2. Each person or organization who receives an expenditure or expenditures by a political party during the reporting period when the expenditure or expenditures to the person or organization within the calendar year have an aggregate value or amount in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00), together with the date and amount of the expenditure;

(v) Disclosure required under this section of an expenditure to a credit card issuer, financial institution or business allowing payments and money transfers to be made over the Internet must include, by way of detail or separate entry, the amount of funds passing to each person, business entity or organization receiving funds from the expenditure.

(e) The appropriate office specified in Section 23-15-805 must be in actual receipt of the reports specified in this article by 5:00 p.m. on the dates specified in subsection (b) of this section. If the date specified in subsection (b) of this section shall fall on a weekend or legal holiday then the report shall be due in the appropriate office at 5:00 p.m. on the first working day before the date specified in subsection (b) of this section. The reporting candidate or reporting political committee shall ensure that the reports are delivered to the appropriate office by the filing deadline. The Secretary of State may approve specific means of electronic transmission of completed campaign finance disclosure reports, which may include, but not be limited to, transmission by electronic facsimile (FAX) devices.
(f)

(i) If any contribution of more than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) is received by a candidate or candidate’s political committee after the tenth day, but more than forty-eight (48) hours before 12:01 a.m. of the day of the election, the candidate or political committee shall notify the appropriate office designated in Section 23-15-805, within forty-eight (48) hours of receipt of the contribution. The notification shall include:

1. The name of the receiving candidate;
2. The name of the receiving candidate’s political committee, if any;
3. The office sought by the candidate;

4. The identification of the contributor;
5. The date of receipt;
6. The amount of the contribution;
7. If the contribution is in-kind, a description of the in-kind contribution; and
8. The signature of the candidate or the treasurer or chair of the candidate’s political organization.

(ii) The notification shall be in writing, and may be transmitted by overnight mail, courier service, or other reliable means, including electronic facsimile (FAX), but the candidate or candidate’s committee shall ensure that the notification shall in fact be received in the appropriate office designated in Section 23-15-805 within forty-eight (48) hours of the contribution.

 

§ 23-15-809. Statements by persons other than political committees; filing; indices of expenditures.

(a) Every person who makes independent expenditures in an aggregate amount or value in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) during a calendar year shall file a statement containing the information required under Section 23-15-807. Such statement shall be filed with the appropriate offices as provided for in Section 23-15-805, and such person shall be considered a political committee for the purpose of determining place of filing.
(b) Statements required to be filed by this section shall include:

(i) Information indicating whether the independent expenditure is in support of, or in opposition to, the candidate involved;
(ii) Under penalty of perjury, a certification of whether or not such independent expenditure is made in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, any candidate or any authorized committee or agent of such candidate; and
(iii) The identification of each person who made a contribution in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) to the person filing such statement which was made for the purpose of furthering an independent expenditure.

 

§ 23-15-811. Penalties.

[Effective until January 1, 2018, this section will read:]
(a) Any candidate or any other person who shall wilfully and deliberately and substantially violate the provisions and prohibitions of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine in a sum not to exceed Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000.00) or imprisoned for not longer than six (6) months or by both fine and imprisonment.
(b) In addition to the penalties provided in paragraph (a) of this section, any candidate or political committee which is required to file a statement or report which fails to file such statement or report on the date in which it is due may be compelled to file such statement or report by an action in the nature of a mandamus.
(c) No candidate shall be certified as nominated for election or as elected to office unless and until he files all reports required by this article due as of the date of certification.
(d) No candidate who is elected to office shall receive any salary or other remuneration for the office unless and until he files all reports required by this article due as of the date such salary or remuneration is payable.
(e) In the event that a candidate fails to timely file any report required pursuant to this article but subsequently files a report or reports containing all of the information required to be reported by him as of the date on which the sanctions of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section would be applied to him, such candidate shall not be subject to the sanctions of said paragraphs (c) and (d).
[Effective from and after January 1, 2018, this section will read:]
(a) Any candidate or any other person who willfully violates the provisions and prohibitions of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine in a sum not to exceed Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000.00) or imprisoned for not longer than six (6) months or by both fine and imprisonment.
(b) In addition to the penalties provided in subsection (a) of this section and Chapter 13, Title 97, Mississippi Code of 1972, any candidate or political committee which is required to file a statement or report and fails to file the statement or report on the date it is due may be compelled to file the statement or report by an action in the nature of a mandamus brought by the Mississippi Ethics Commission.
(c) No candidate shall be certified as nominated for election or as elected to office until he or she files all reports required by this article that are due as of the date of certification.
(d) No candidate who is elected to office shall receive any salary or other remuneration for the office until he or she files all reports required by this article that are due as of the date the salary or remuneration is payable.
(e) In the event that a candidate fails to timely file any report required pursuant to this article but subsequently files a report or reports containing all of the information required to be reported, the candidate shall not be subject to the sanctions of subsections (c) and (d) of this section.

 

§ 23-15-813. Civil penalty for failure to file campaign finance disclosure report; notice to candidate of failure to file; assessment of penalty by Mississippi Ethics Commission; hearing; appeal.

[Effective until January 1, 2018, this section will read:]
(a) In addition to any other penalty permitted by law, the Secretary of State shall require any candidate or political committee, as identified in Section 23-15-805(a), and any other political committee registered with the Secretary of State, who fails to file a campaign finance disclosure report as required under Sections 23-15-801 through 23-15-813, or Sections 23-17-47 through 23-17-53, or who shall file a report which fails to substantially comply with the requirements of Sections 23-15-801 through 23-15-813, or Sections 23-17-47 through 23-17-53, to be assessed a civil penalty as follows:

(i) Within five (5) calendar days after any deadline for filing a report pursuant to Sections 23-15-801 through 23-15-813, or Sections 23-17-47 through 23-17-53, the Secretary of State shall compile a list of those candidates and political committees who have failed to file a report. The Secretary of State shall provide each candidate or political committee, who has failed to file a report, notice of the failure by first-class mail.
(ii) Beginning with the tenth calendar day after which any report shall be due, the Secretary of State shall assess the delinquent candidate and political committee a civil penalty of Fifty Dollars ($50.00) for each day or part of any day until a valid report is delivered to the Secretary of State, up to a maximum of ten (10) days. However, in the discretion of the Secretary of State, the assessing of the fine may be waived in whole or in part if the Secretary of State determines that unforeseeable mitigating circumstances, such as the health of the candidate, interfered with timely filing of a report. Failure of a candidate or political committee to receive notice of failure to file a report from the Secretary of State is not an unforeseeable mitigating circumstance, and failure to receive the notice shall not result in removal or reduction of any assessed civil penalty.
(iii) Filing of the required report and payment of the fine within ten (10) calendar days of notice by the Secretary of State that a required statement has not been filed, constitutes compliance with Sections 23-15-801 through 23-15-813, or Sections 23-17-47 through 23-17-53.
(iv) Payment of the fine without filing the required report does not in any way excuse or exempt any person required to file from the filing requirements of Sections 23-15-801 through 23-15-813, and Sections 23-17-47 through 23-17-53.
(v) If any candidate or political committee is assessed a civil penalty, and the penalty is not subsequently waived by the Secretary of State, the candidate or political committee shall pay the fine to the Secretary of State within ninety (90) days of the date of the assessment of the fine. If, after one hundred twenty (120) days of the assessment of the fine the payment for the entire amount of the assessed fine has not been received by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of State shall notify the Attorney General of the delinquency, and the Attorney General shall file, where necessary, a suit to compel payment of the civil penalty.

(b)

(i) Upon the sworn application, made within sixty (60) calendar days of the date upon which the required report is due, of a candidate or political committee against whom a civil penalty has been assessed pursuant to paragraph (a), the Secretary of State shall forward the application to the State Board of Election Commissioners. The State Board of Election Commissioners shall appoint one or more hearing officers who shall be former chancellors, circuit court judges, judges of the Court of Appeals or justices of the Supreme Court, and who shall conduct hearings held pursuant to this article. The hearing officer shall fix a time and place for a hearing and shall cause a written notice specifying the civil penalties that have been assessed against the candidate or political committee and notice of the time and place of the hearing to be served upon the candidate or political committee at least twenty (20) calendar days before the hearing date. The notice may be served by mailing a copy thereof by certified mail, postage prepaid, to the last known business address of the candidate or political committee.
(ii) The hearing officer may issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production of books and papers at the hearing. Process issued by the hearing officer shall extend to all parts of the state and shall be served by any person designated by the hearing officer for the service.
(iii) The candidate or political committee has the right to appear either personally, by counsel or both, to produce witnesses or evidence in his behalf, to cross-examine witnesses and to have subpoenas issued by the hearing officer.
(iv) At the hearing, the hearing officer shall administer oaths as may be necessary for the proper conduct of the hearing. All hearings shall be conducted by the hearing officer, who shall not be bound by strict rules of procedure or by the laws of evidence in the conduct of the proceedings, but the determination shall be based upon sufficient evidence to sustain it. The scope of review at the hearing shall be limited to making a determination of whether failure to file a required report was due to an unforeseeable mitigating circumstance.
(v) Where, in any proceeding before the hearing officer, any witness fails or refuses to attend upon a subpoena issued by the commission, refuses to testify, or refuses to produce any books and papers the production of which is called for by a subpoena, the attendance of the witness, the giving of his testimony or the production of the books and papers shall be enforced by any court of competent jurisdiction of this state in the manner provided for the enforcement of attendance and testimony of witnesses in civil cases in the courts of this state.
(vi) Within fifteen (15) calendar days after conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall reduce his or her decision to writing and forward an attested true copy of the decision to the last known business address of the candidate or political committee by way of United States first-class, certified mail, postage prepaid.

(c)

(i) The right to appeal from the decision of the hearing officer in an administrative hearing concerning the assessment of civil penalties authorized pursuant to this section is granted. The appeal shall be to the Circuit Court of Hinds County and shall include a verbatim transcript of the testimony at the hearing. The appeal shall be taken within thirty (30) calendar days after notice of the decision of the commission following an administrative hearing. The appeal shall be perfected upon filing notice of the appeal and by the prepayment of all costs, including the cost of the preparation of the record of the proceedings by the hearing officer, and the filing of a bond in the sum of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00), conditioned that if the decision of the hearing officer be affirmed by the court, the candidate or political committee will pay the costs of the appeal and the action in court. If the decision is reversed by the court, the Secretary of State will pay the costs of the appeal and the action in court.
(ii) If there is an appeal, the appeal shall act as a supersedeas. The court shall dispose of the appeal and enter its decision promptly. The hearing on the appeal may be tried in vacation, in the court’s discretion. The scope of review of the court shall be limited to a review of the record made before the hearing officer to determine if the action of the hearing officer is unlawful for the reason that it was 1. not supported by substantial evidence, 2. arbitrary or capricious, 3. beyond the power of the hearing officer to make, or 4. in violation of some statutory or constitutional right of the appellant. The decision of the court may be appealed to the Supreme Court in the manner provided by law.

(d) If, after forty-five (45) calendar days of the date of the administrative hearing procedure set forth in paragraph (b), the candidate or political committee identified in paragraph (a) of this section fails to pay the monetary civil penalty imposed by the hearing officer, the Secretary of State shall notify the Attorney General of the delinquency. The Attorney General shall investigate the offense in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, and where necessary, file suit to compel payment of the unpaid civil penalty.
(e) If, after twenty (20) calendar days of the date upon which a campaign finance disclosure report is due, a candidate or political committee identified in paragraph (a) of this section shall not have filed a valid report with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of State shall notify the Attorney General of those candidates and political committees who have not filed a valid report, and the Attorney General shall thereupon prosecute the delinquent candidates and political committees.
[Effective from and after January 1, 2018, this section will read:]
(a) In addition to any other penalty permitted by law, the Mississippi Ethics Commission shall require any candidate or political committee, as identified in Section 23-15-805(a), and any other political committee registered with the Secretary of State, who fails to file a campaign finance disclosure report as required under Sections 23-15-801 through 23-15-813, or Sections 23-17-47 through 23-17-53, or who shall file a report that fails to substantially comply with the requirements of Sections 23-15-801 through 23-15-813, or Sections 23-17-47 through 23-17-53, to be assessed a civil penalty as follows:

(i) Within five (5) calendar days after any deadline for filing a report pursuant to Sections 23-15-801 through 23-15-813, or Sections 23-17-47 through 23-17-53, the Secretary of State shall compile a list of those candidates and political committees who have failed to file a report. The list shall be provided to the Mississippi Ethics Commission. The Secretary of State shall provide each candidate or political committee, who has failed to file a report, notice of the failure by first-class mail.
(ii) Beginning with the tenth calendar day after which any report is due, the Mississippi Ethics Commission shall assess the delinquent candidate and political committee a civil penalty of Fifty Dollars ($50.00) for each day or part of any day until a valid report is delivered to the Secretary of State, up to a maximum of ten (10) days. In the discretion of the Mississippi Ethics Commission, the assessing of the fine may be waived, in whole or in part, if the Commission determines that unforeseeable mitigating circumstances, such as the health of the candidate, interfered with the timely filing of a report. Failure of a candidate or political committee to receive notice of failure to file a report from the Secretary of State is not an unforeseeable mitigating circumstance, and failure to receive the notice shall not result in removal or reduction of any assessed civil penalty.
(iii) Filing of the required report and payment of the fine within ten (10) calendar days of notice by the Secretary of State that a required statement has not been filed constitutes compliance with Sections 23-15-801 through 23-15-813, or Sections 23-17-47 through 23-17-53.
(iv) Payment of the fine without filing the required report does not excuse or exempt any person from the filing requirements of Sections 23-15-801 through 23-15-813, and Sections 23-17-47 through 23-17-53.
(v) If any candidate or political committee is assessed a civil penalty, and the penalty is not subsequently waived by the Mississippi Ethics Commission, the candidate or political committee shall pay the fine to the Commission within ninety (90) days of the date of the assessment of the fine. If, after one hundred twenty (120) days of the assessment of the fine the payment for the entire amount of the assessed fine has not been received by the Commission, the Commission shall notify the Attorney General of the delinquency, and the Attorney General shall file, where necessary, a suit to compel payment of the civil penalty.

(b)

(i) Upon the sworn application, made within sixty (60) calendar days of the date upon which the required report is due, of a candidate or political committee against whom a civil penalty has been assessed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary of State shall forward the application to the State Board of Election Commissioners. The State Board of Election Commissioners shall appoint one or more hearing officers who shall be former chancellors, circuit court judges, judges of the Court of Appeals or justices of the Supreme Court, to conduct hearings held pursuant to this article. The hearing officer shall fix a time and place for a hearing and shall cause a written notice specifying the civil penalties that have been assessed against the candidate or political committee and notice of the time and place of the hearing to be served upon the candidate or political committee at least twenty (20) calendar days before the hearing date. The notice may be served by mailing a copy of the notice by certified mail, postage prepaid, to the last-known business address of the candidate or political committee.
(ii) The hearing officer may issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents at the hearing. Process issued by the hearing officer shall extend to all parts of the state and shall be served by any person designated by the hearing officer for the service.
(iii) The candidate or political committee has the right to appear either personally, by counsel or both, to produce witnesses or evidence in his or her behalf, to cross-examine witnesses and to have subpoenas issued by the hearing officer.
(iv) At the hearing, the hearing officer shall administer oaths as may be necessary for the proper conduct of the hearing. All hearings shall be conducted by the hearing officer, who shall not be bound by strict rules of procedure or by the laws of evidence, but the determination shall be based upon sufficient evidence to sustain it. The scope of review at the hearing shall be limited to making a determination of whether failure to file a required report was due to an unforeseeable mitigating circumstance.
(v) In any proceeding before the hearing officer, if any witness fails or refuses to attend upon a subpoena issued by the commission, refuses to testify, or refuses to produce any documents called for by a subpoena, the attendance of the witness, the giving of his or her testimony or the production of the documents shall be enforced by a court of competent jurisdiction of this state in the manner provided for the enforcement of attendance and testimony of witnesses in civil cases in the courts of this state.
(vi) Within fifteen (15) calendar days after conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall reduce his or her decision to writing and forward an attested true copy of the decision to the last-known business address of the candidate or political committee by way of United States first-class, certified mail, postage prepaid.

(c)

(i) The right to appeal from the decision of the hearing officer in an administrative hearing concerning the assessment of civil penalties authorized pursuant to this section is granted. The appeal shall be to the Circuit Court of Hinds County and shall include a verbatim transcript of the testimony at the hearing. The appeal shall be taken within thirty (30) calendar days after notice of the decision of the commission following an administrative hearing. The appeal shall be perfected upon filing notice of the appeal and the prepayment of all costs, including the cost of preparing the record of the proceedings by the hearing officer, and filing a bond in the sum of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00), conditioned that if the decision of the hearing officer is affirmed by the court, the candidate or political committee will pay the costs of the appeal and the action in court. If the decision is reversed by the court, the Mississippi Ethics Commission will pay the costs of the appeal and the action in court.
(ii) If there is an appeal, the appeal shall act as a supersedeas. The court shall dispose of the appeal and enter its decision promptly. The hearing on the appeal may be tried in vacation, in the court’s discretion. The scope of review of the court shall be limited to a review of the record made before the hearing officer to determine if the action of the hearing officer is unlawful for the reason that it was 1. not supported by substantial evidence, 2. arbitrary or capricious, 3. beyond the power of the hearing officer to make, or 4. in violation of some statutory or constitutional right of the appellant. The decision of the court may be appealed to the Supreme Court in the manner provided by law.

(d) If, after forty-five (45) calendar days of the date of the administrative hearing procedure set forth in subsection (b), the candidate or political committee identified in subsection (a) of this section fails to pay the monetary civil penalty imposed by the hearing officer, the Secretary of State shall notify the Attorney General of the delinquency. The Attorney General shall investigate the offense in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, and where necessary, file suit to compel payment of the unpaid civil penalty.

(e) If, after twenty (20) calendar days of the date upon which a campaign finance disclosure report is due, a candidate or political committee identified in subsection (a) of this section shall not have filed a valid report with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of State shall notify the Attorney General of those candidates and political committees who have not filed a valid report, and the Attorney General shall prosecute the delinquent candidates and political committees.

 

§ 23-15-815. Administrative provisions; duties of Secretary of State.

(a) The Secretary of State shall prescribe and make available forms and promulgate rules and regulations necessary to implement this article.
(b) The Secretary of State, circuit clerks and municipal clerks shall, within forty-eight (48) hours after the time of the receipt by the appropriate office of reports and statements filed with it, make them available for public inspection, and copying at the expense of the person requesting such copying, and keep such designations, reports and statements for a period of three (3) years from the date of receipt.

 

§ 23-15-817. Compilation and dissemination of list of candidates failing to meet filing requirements.

[Effective until January 1, 2018, this section will read:]

The Secretary of State shall compile a list of all candidates for the Legislature or any statewide office who fail to file a campaign disclosure report by the dates specified in Section 23-15-807(b); the list shall be disseminated to the members of the Mississippi Press Association within two (2) working days after such reports are due and made available to the public.
[Effective from and after January 1, 2018, this section will read:]
The Secretary of State shall compile a list of all candidates for the Legislature or any statewide office who fail to file a campaign disclosure report by the dates specified in Section 23-15-807(b). The list shall be provided to the Mississippi Ethics Commission so that the commission may bring a mandamus as provided in Section 23-15-811 or take any other disciplinary action as provided in this chapter. The list shall also be disseminated to the members of the Mississippi Press Association within two (2) working days after such reports are due and made available to the public.

§ 23-15-819. Campaign contributions or expenditures of money or other things of value by foreign nationals prohibited.

(1) It shall be unlawful for a foreign national, directly or through any other person, to make any contribution or any expenditure of money or other thing of value, or to promise expressly or impliedly to make any such contribution or expenditure, in connection with an election to any political office or in connection with any primary election, convention or caucus held to select candidates for any political office.
(2) No person shall solicit, accept or receive any such contribution from a foreign national.

(3) The term “foreign national” means:

(a) A foreign national as defined in 22 USCS 611(b), except that the terms “foreign national” does not include any individual who is a citizen of the United States; or
(b) An individual who is not a citizen of the United States and who is not lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

§ 23-15-821. Personal use of campaign contributions by elected public officeholders or candidates for public office prohibited; definitions; disposition of unused funds; penalties [Effective January 1, 2018].

(1) The personal use of campaign contributions by any elected public officeholder or by any candidate for public office is prohibited.

(a) For the purposes of this section, “personal use” is defined as any use, other than expenditures related to gaining or holding public office, or performing the functions and duties of public office, for which the candidate for public office or elected public official would be required to treat the amount of the expenditure as gross income under Section 61 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, 26 USC Section 61, or any subsequent corresponding Internal Revenue Code of the United States, as from time to time amended. “Personal use” shall not include donations to a political organization, or to a political action committee, or to another candidate.
(b) “Candidate” shall mean any individual described in Section 23-15-801(b), and shall include any person having been a candidate until such time that the person takes office or files a termination report as provided in this section.
(c) “Officeholder” shall mean any elected or appointed official from the beginning of his or her term of office until that person no longer holds office.

(2) The following personal use expenditures are specifically prohibited under this section:

(a) Any residential or household items, supplies or expenditures, including mortgage, rent or utility payments for any part of any personal residence where a homestead exemption is claimed of a candidate or officeholder or a member of the candidate’s or officeholder’s family;
(b) Mortgage, rent or utility payments for any part of any nonresidential property that is owned by a candidate or officeholder or a member of a candidate’s or officeholder’s family and used for campaign purposes, to the extent the payments exceed the fair market value of the property usage;
(c) Funeral, cremation or burial expenses within a candidate’s or officeholder’s family;
(d) Clothing, other than items of de minimis value that are used for gaining or holding public office or performing the functions and duties of public office;
(e) Automobiles, except for automobile rental expenses and other automobile expenses related to gaining or holding public office or performing the functions and duties of public office;
(f) Tuition payments within a candidate’s or officeholder’s family other than those associated with training campaign staff or associated with an officeholder’s duties;
(g) Salary payments to a member of a candidate’s family, unless the family member is providing bona fide services to the campaign. If a family member provides bona fide services to a campaign, any salary payments in excess of the fair market value of the services provided is personal use;
(h) Nondocumented loans of any type, including loans to candidates;
(i) Travel expenses except for travel expenses of a candidate, officeholder or staff member of the officeholder for travel undertaken as an ordinary and necessary expense of gaining or holding public office, or performing the functions and duties of public office or for attending meetings or conferences of officials similar to the office held or sought, or for an issue the legislative body is or will consider, or attending a state or national convention of any party. If a candidate or officeholder uses campaign contributions to pay expenses associated with travel that involves both personal activities and activities related to gaining or holding public office or performing the functions and duties of public office, the incremental expenses that result from the personal activities are personal use, unless the person(s) benefiting from this use reimburse(s) the campaign account within thirty (30) days for the amount of the incremental expenses; and
(j) Payment of any fines, fees or penalties assessed pursuant to Mississippi law.

(3) Any expense that reasonably relates to gaining or holding public office, or performing the functions and duties of public office is a specifically permitted use of campaign contributions. Such expenditures are not considered personal use expenditures and may include, but are not limited to, the following expenditures:

(a) The defrayal of ordinary and necessary expenses of a candidate or officeholder, including expenses reasonably related to performing the duties of the office held or sought to be held;
(b) Campaign office or officeholder office expenses and equipment, provided the expenditures and the use of the equipment can be directly attributable to the campaign or office held;
(c) Donations to charitable organizations, not-for-profit organizations or for sponsorships, provided the candidate or officeholder does not receive monetary compensation, other than reimbursements of expenses, from the recipient organization;
(d) Gifts of nominal value and donations of a nominal amount made on a special occasion such as a holiday, graduation, marriage, retirement or death, unless made to a member of the candidate’s or officeholder’s family;
(e) Meal and beverage expenses which are incurred as part of a campaign activity or as a part of a function that is related to the candidate’s or officeholder’s responsibilities, including meals between and among candidates and/or officeholders that are incurred as an ordinary and necessary expense of seeking, holding or maintaining public office, or seeking, holding or maintaining a position within the Legislature or other publicly elected body;
(f) Reasonable rental or accommodation expenses incurred by an officeholder during a legislative session or a day or days in which the officeholder is required by his or her duties to be at the Capitol or another location outside the officeholder’s county of residence. Such rental or accommodation expenses shall not exceed Fifty Dollars ($50.00) per day, if the officeholder receives per diem, or One Hundred Ninety Dollars ($190.00) per day, if the officeholder receives no per diem. Any expenses incurred under this paragraph (f) must be reported as an expenditure pursuant to this section;
(g) Communication access expenses, including mobile devices and Internet access costs. Examples of communication access expenses include, but are not limited to, the following: captioning on television advertisements; video clips; sign language interpreters; computer-aided real-time (CART) services; and assistive listening devices;
(h) Costs associated with memberships to chambers of commerce and civic organizations;
(i) Legal fees and costs associated with any civil action, criminal prosecution or investigation related to conduct reasonably related to the candidacy or performing the duties of the office held.

(4) Upon filing the termination report required under Section 23-15-807, any campaign contributions not used to pay for the expenses of gaining or holding public office or performing the functions and duties of public office shall:

(a) Be maintained in a campaign account(s);
(b) Be donated to a political organization, or to a political action committee, or to another candidate;
(c) Be transferred, in whole or in part, into a newly established political action committee or ballot question advocate;

(d) Be donated to a tax-exempt charitable organization as that term is used in Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, 26 USC Section 501, or any subsequent corresponding Internal Revenue Code of the United States, as from time to time amended;
(e) Be donated to the State of Mississippi; or
(f) Be returned to a donor or donors.

(5) Any candidate for public office or any elected official who willfully violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished by a fine of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) and by a state assessment equal to the amount of misappropriated campaign contributions. The state assessment shall be deposited into the Public Employees’ Retirement System. No fine or assessment imposed under this section shall be paid by a third party.
(6) Any contributions accruing to a candidate’s or officeholder’s campaign account before January 1, 2018, shall be exempt and not subject to the provisions of this section. All exempt contributions must be designated as exempt on all reports filed with the Secretary of State pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
(7) The Mississippi Ethics Commission shall issue advisory opinions regarding any of the requirements set forth in this section. When any officeholder or candidate requests an advisory opinion, in writing, and has stated all of the facts to govern the opinion, and the Ethics Commission has prepared and delivered the opinion with references to the request, there shall be no civil or criminal liability accruing to or against any officeholder or candidate who, in good faith, follows the direction of the opinion and acts in accordance with the opinion, unless a court of competent jurisdiction, after a full hearing, judicially declares that the opinion is manifestly wrong and without any substantial support. No opinion shall be given or considered if the opinion would be given after judicial proceedings have commenced.
All advisory opinions issued pursuant to the provisions of this subsection (7) shall be made public and shall be issued within ninety (90) days of written request. The request for an advisory opinion shall be confidential as to the identity of the individual making the request. The Ethics Commission shall, so far as practicable and before making public, an advisory opinion issued under the provisions of on this subsection (7), make such deletions and changes thereto as may be necessary to ensure the anonymity of the public official and any other person named in the opinion.

 

ARTICLE 25. VACANCIES IN OFFICE

§ 23-15-831. Appointments by Governor to fill vacancies in state or state district elected offices other than in Legislature.

When a vacancy other than in the Legislature occurs by death, resignation or otherwise, in any state or state district elected office, and there is no special provision of law for filling the vacancy, the same shall be filled for the unexpired term by appointment by the Governor.

 

§ 23-15-832. Notice to Secretary of State of vacancy in office for which special election is required to be called to fill.

When a vacancy shall occur in an elective office for which a special election is required to be called to fill, the entity with whom candidates for the office are required to qualify shall notify the Secretary of State of the vacancy within five (5) days after it receives knowledge of the vacancy.

§ 23-15-833. Special elections to fill vacancies in county, county district, and district attorney offices, and office of circuit judge or chancellor.

Except as otherwise provided by law, the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of each year shall be designated the regular special election day, and on that day an election shall be held to fill any vacancy in county, county district, and district attorney elective offices, and any vacancy in the office of circuit judge or chancellor.
All special elections, or elections to fill vacancies, shall in all respects be held, conducted and returned in the same manner as general elections, except that where no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast in the election, a runoff election shall be held three (3) weeks after the election. The two (2) candidates who receive the highest popular votes for the office shall have their names submitted as the candidates to the runoff and the candidate who leads in the runoff election shall be elected to the office. When there is a tie in the first election of those receiving the next highest vote, these two (2) and the one receiving the highest vote, none having received a majority, shall go into the runoff election and whoever leads in the runoff election shall be entitled to the office.
In those years when the regular special election day shall occur on the same day as the general election, the names of candidates in any special election and the general election shall be placed on the same ballot, but shall be clearly distinguished as general election candidates or special election candidates. At any time a special election is held on the same day as a party primary election, the names of the candidates in the special election may be placed on the same ballot, but shall be clearly distinguished as special election candidates or primary election candidates.

 

§ 23-15-835. Notice of special election for county or county district office; election procedures.

The election commissioners of the several counties to whom the writ of election may be directed shall, immediately upon receipt of the writ, give notice of the special election to fill a vacancy in such county or county district office by posting notices at the courthouse and in each supervisor’s district in the county for ninety (90) days before the election; and the election shall be prepared for and held as in case of a general election.

 

§ 23-15-837. Procedure where only one person has qualified for candidacy in special election for state district office or legislative office.

(1) When a special election is called to fill any state district office or legislative office and where only one (1) person has duly qualified with the State Board of Election Commissioners to be a candidate in the special election within the time prescribed by law for qualifying as a candidate, the State Board of Election Commissioners shall make a finding and determination of that fact, which shall be duly entered upon its official minutes.
(2) A finding and determination and certification to office by the State Board of Election Commissioners, as herein provided, shall dispense with the holding of the special election.
(3) A certified copy of the finding and determination of the State Board of Election Commissioners shall be filed with the Governor, and the Governor shall appoint the candidate so certified to fill the unexpired term.

 

§ 23-15-839. Appointments to fill vacancies in county or county district offices; special election procedures; procedure where only one person has qualified for candidacy in special election.

(1) When a vacancy occurs in any county or county district office, the same shall be filled by appointment by the board of supervisors of the county, by order entered upon its minutes, where the vacancy occurs, or by appointment of the president of the board of supervisors, by and with the consent of the majority of the board of supervisors, if such vacancy occurs when the board is not in session, and the clerk of the board shall certify to the Secretary of State the appointment, and the appointed person shall be commissioned by the Governor; and if the unexpired term be longer than six (6) months, such appointee shall serve until a successor is elected as hereinafter provided, unless the regular special election day on which the vacancy should be filled occurs in a year in which an election would normally be held for that office as provided by law, in which case the person so appointed shall serve the unexpired portion of the term. Such vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term by the qualified electors at the next regular special election day occurring more than ninety (90) days after the vacancy occurs. The board of supervisors of the county shall, within ten (10) days after the vacancy occurs, make an order, in writing, directed to the election commissioners, commanding an election to be held on the next regular special election day to fill the vacancy. The election commissioners shall require each candidate to qualify at least sixty (60) days before the date of the election, and shall give a certificate of election to the person elected, and shall return to the Secretary of State a copy of the order of holding the election, showing the election results, certified by the clerk of the board of supervisors. The person elected shall be commissioned by the Governor to take office once the election is certified.
(2) In any election ordered pursuant to this section where only one (1) person qualifies with the election commissioners to be a candidate within the time provided by law, the election commissioners shall certify to the board of supervisors that there is only one (1) candidate. Thereupon, the board of supervisors shall dispense with the election and appoint the certified candidate to fill the unexpired term. The clerk of the board shall certify the appointed candidate to the Secretary of State and the candidate shall be commissioned by the Governor. In the event no person qualifies by 5:00 p.m. sixty (60) days before the date of the election, the election commissioners shall certify that fact to the board of supervisors who shall dispense with the election and fill the vacancy by appointment. The clerk of the board of supervisors shall certify the appointment to the Secretary of State, and the appointed person shall be commissioned by the Governor.

 

§ 23-15-841. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 441, § 201, effective from and after July 1, 2017.

§ 23-15-541. [Derived from 1972 Code § 3157 [Codes, 1906, § 3713; Hemingway’s 1917, § 6405; 1930, § 5910; repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 346]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 253, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]

 

§ 23-15-843. Special elections to fill vacancies in office of district attorney; emergency appointments.

In case of death, resignation or vacancy from any cause in the office of district attorney, the unexpired term of which shall exceed six (6) months, the Governor shall within ten (10) days after the vacancy occurs issue a proclamation calling an election to fill a vacancy in the office of district attorney to be held on the next regular special election day in the district where the vacancy occurred unless the vacancy occurs in a year in which a general election would normally be held for that office as provided by law, in which case the appointed person shall serve the unexpired portion of the term. Candidates in such a special election shall qualify in the same manner and be subject to the same time limitations as set forth in Section 23-15-839. Pending the holding of a special election, the Governor shall make an emergency appointment to fill the vacancy until the same shall be filled by election.

 

§§ 23-15-845 and 23-15-847. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1994, ch. 564, § 102, eff from and after September 6, 1994 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection to the repeal of this section).
§ 23-15-845. Derived from 1972 Code § 3150 [Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 6430; 1930, § 5903; Laws, 1916, ch. 616; Repealed by Laws 1986, ch. 495, § 346]; En, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 255 [Am Laws, 1993, ch. 518, § 27]
§ 23-15-847. Derived from 1972 Code § 23-3-61 [Codes, 1942, § 3190; Laws, 1935, ch. 19;
Repealed by Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 333]; En, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 256 [Am Laws, 1993, ch. 518, § 28]

 

§ 23-15-849. Special elections to fill vacancies in office of justice of Supreme Court, judge of Court of Appeals, circuit judge, or chancellor; interim appointments.

(1) Vacancies in the office of circuit judge or chancellor shall be filled for the unexpired term by the qualified electors at the next regular special election occurring more than nine (9) months after the vacancy to be filled occurred, and the term of office of the person elected to fill a vacancy shall commence on the first Monday in January following the election. Upon the occurrence of a vacancy, the Governor shall appoint a qualified person from the district in which the vacancy exists to hold the office and discharge the duties thereof until the vacancy is filled by election as provided in this subsection.
(2)

(a) If half or more than half of the term remains, vacancies in the office of justice of the Supreme Court or judge of the Court of Appeals shall be filled for the unexpired term by the qualified electors at the next regular election for state officers or for representatives in Congress occurring more than nine (9) months after the vacancy to be filled occurred, and the term of office of the person elected to fill a vacancy shall commence on the first Monday in January following the election. If less than half of the term remains, vacancies in the office of justice of the Supreme Court or judge of the Court of Appeals shall be filled for the remaining unexpired term solely by appointment as provided in this subsection.
(b) Upon occurrence of a vacancy, the Governor shall appoint a qualified person from the district in which the vacancy exists to hold the office and discharge the duties thereof as follows:

(i) If less than half of the term remains, the appointee shall serve until expiration of the term;
(ii) If half or more than half of the term remains, the appointee shall serve until the vacancy is filled by election as provided in subsection (1) of this section for judges of the circuit and chancery courts. Elections to fill vacancies in the office of justice of the Supreme Court or judge of the Court of Appeals shall be held, conducted, returned and the persons elected commissioned in accordance with the law governing regular elections for justices of the Supreme Court or judges of the Court of Appeals to the extent applicable.

 

§ 23-15-851. Elections to fill vacancies in offices in Legislature; notice.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2) of this section, within thirty (30) days after vacancies occur in either house of the Legislature, the Governor shall issue writs of election to fill the vacancies on a day specified in the writ of election. At least sixty (60) days’ notice shall be given of the election in each county or part of a county in which the election shall be held. The qualifying deadline for the election shall be fifty (50) days before the election. Notice of the election shall be posted at the courthouse and in each supervisors district in the county or part of county in which such election shall be held for as near sixty (60) days as may be practicable. The election shall be prepared for and held as in the case of a general election.
(2) If a vacancy occurs in a calendar year in which the general election for state officers is held, the Governor may elect not to issue a writ of election to fill the vacancy.

 

§ 23-15-853. Special elections to fill vacancies in representation in Congress; notice; qualification by candidates.

(1) If a vacancy occurs in the representation in Congress, the vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term by a special election, to be ordered by the Governor, within sixty (60) days after the vacancy occurs, and held at a time fixed by his or her order, and which time shall be not less than sixty (60) days after the issuance of the order of the Governor, which shall be directed to the election commissioners of the several counties of the district, who shall, immediately on the receipt of the order, give notice of the election by publishing the same in a newspaper having a general circulation in the county and by posting the notice at the front door of the courthouse. The order shall also be directed to the State Board of Election Commissioners. The election shall be prepared for and conducted, and returns shall be made, in all respects as provided for a special election to fill vacancies.
(2) Candidates for the office in such an election must qualify with the Secretary of State by 5:00 p.m. not less than fifty (50) days before the date of the election. If the fiftieth day to qualify before an election falls on a Sunday or legal holiday, the qualification submitted on the business day immediately following the Sunday or legal holiday shall be accepted. The election commissioners shall have printed on the ballot in such special election the name of any candidate who shall have been requested to be a candidate for the office by a petition filed with the Secretary of State and personally signed by not less than one thousand (1,000) qualified electors of the district. The petition shall be filed by 5:00 p.m. not less than fifty (50) days before the date of the election. If the fiftieth day to file the petition before an election falls on a Sunday or legal holiday, the petition filed on the business day immediately following the Sunday or legal holiday shall be accepted.
There shall be attached to each petition above provided for, upon the time of filing with the Secretary of State, a certificate from the appropriate registrar or registrars showing the number of qualified electors appearing upon each petition which the registrar shall furnish to the petitioner upon request.

 

§ 23-15-855. Elections to fill vacancies in office of U.S. Senator; interim appointments by Governor.

(1) If a vacancy shall occur in the office of United States Senator from Mississippi by death, resignation or otherwise, the Governor shall, within ten (10) days after receiving official notice of the vacancy, issue a proclamation for an election to be held in the state to elect a Senator to fill the remaining unexpired term, provided the unexpired term is more than twelve (12) months and the election shall be held within ninety (90) days from the time the proclamation is issued and the returns of such election shall be certified to the Governor in the manner set out above for regular elections, unless the vacancy occurs in a year in which a general state or congressional election is held, in which event the Governor’s proclamation shall designate the general election day as the time for electing a Senator, and the vacancy shall be filled by appointment as hereinafter provided.
(2) In case of a vacancy in the office of United States Senator, the Governor may appoint a Senator to fill the vacancy temporarily, and if the United States Senate be in session at the time the vacancy occurs the Governor shall appoint a Senator within ten (10) days after receiving official notice thereof, and the appointed Senator shall serve until a successor is elected and commissioned as provided for in subsection (1) of this section, provided that such unexpired term as he or she may be appointed to fill shall be for a longer time than one (1) year, but if for a shorter time than one (1) year, he or she shall serve for the full time of the unexpired term and no special election shall be called by the Governor but a successor shall be elected at the regular election.

 

§ 23-15-857. Appointments to fill vacancies in elective offices in cities, towns, or villages; elections to fill such offices; procedure where no person or only one person has qualified as candidate.

(1) When there is a vacancy in an elective office in a city, town or village, the unexpired term of which shall not exceed six (6) months, the same shall be filled by appointment by the governing authority or remainder of the governing authority of the city, town or village. The municipal clerk shall certify the appointment to the Secretary of State and the appointed person or persons shall be commissioned by the Governor.
(2) When there is a vacancy in an elective office in a city, town or village, the unexpired term of which shall exceed six (6) months, the governing authority or remainder of the governing authority of the city, town or village shall make and enter on the minutes an order for an election to be held in the city, town or village to fill the vacancy and fix a date upon which the election shall be held. The order shall be made and entered upon the minutes at the next regular meeting of the governing authority after the vacancy occurs, or at a special meeting to be held not later than ten (10) days after the vacancy occurs, Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays excluded, whichever shall occur first. The election shall be held on a date not less than thirty (30) days nor more than forty-five (45) days after the date upon which the order is adopted.
Notice of the election shall be given by the municipal clerk by notice published in a newspaper published in the municipality. The notice shall be published once each week for three (3) successive weeks preceding the date of the election. The first notice shall be published at least thirty (30) days before the date of the election. Notice shall also be given by posting a copy of the notice at three (3) public places in the municipality not less than twenty-one (21) days before the date of the election. One (1) of the notices shall be posted at the city, town or village hall. In the event that there is no newspaper published in the municipality, such notice shall be published as provided for above in a newspaper that has a general circulation within the municipality and by posting as provided for above. Additionally, the governing authority may publish the notice in that newspaper for as many additional times as may be deemed necessary by the governing authority.
Each candidate shall qualify by petition filed with the municipal clerk by 5:00 p.m. at least twenty (20) days before the date of the election. If the twentieth day to file the petition before the election falls on a Sunday or legal holiday, the petition filed on the business day immediately following the Sunday or legal holiday shall be accepted. The petition shall be signed by not less than the following number of qualified electors:

(a) For an office of a city, town, village or municipal district having a population of one thousand (1,000) or more, not less than fifty (50) qualified electors.
(b) For an office of a city, town, village or municipal district having a population of less than one thousand (1,000), not less than fifteen (15) qualified electors.

No qualifying fee shall be required of any candidate, and the election shall be held as far as practicable in the same manner as municipal general elections.
The candidate receiving a majority of the votes cast in the election shall be elected. If no candidate receives a majority vote at the election, the two (2) candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall have their names placed on the ballot for the election to be held three (3) weeks thereafter. The candidate receiving a majority of the votes cast in the election shall be elected. However, if no candidate receives a majority and there is a tie in the election of those receiving the next highest vote, those receiving the next highest vote and the candidate receiving the highest vote shall have their names placed on the ballot for the election to be held three (3) weeks thereafter, and whoever receives the most votes cast in the election shall be elected.
Should the election held three (3) weeks thereafter result in a tie vote, the prevailing candidate shall be decided by a toss of a coin or by lot fairly and publicly drawn under the supervision of the election commission.
The clerk of the election commission shall then give a certificate of election to the person elected, and return to the Secretary of State a copy of the order of holding the election and runoff election results, certified by the clerk of the governing authority. The person elected shall be commissioned by the Governor.
However, if nineteen (19) days before the date of the election only one (1) person shall have qualified as a candidate, the governing authority, or remainder of the governing authority, shall dispense with the election and appoint that one (1) candidate in lieu of an election. In the event no person shall have qualified by 5:00 p.m. at least twenty (20) days before the date of the election, the governing authority or remainder of the governing authority shall dispense with the election and fill the vacancy by appointment. The clerk of the governing authority shall certify the appointment to the Secretary of State, and the appointed person shall be commissioned by the Governor.

 

§ 23-15-859. Date of special municipal election; notice.

Whenever under any statute a special election is required or authorized to be held in any municipality, and the statute authorizing or requiring the election does not specify the time within which the election shall be called, or the notice which shall be given, the governing authorities of the municipality shall, by resolution, fix a date upon which the election shall be held. The date shall not be less than twenty-one (21) nor more than thirty (30) days after the date upon which such resolution is adopted, and not less than three (3) weeks’ notice of the election shall be given by the clerk by a notice published in a newspaper published in the municipality once each week for three (3) weeks next preceding the date of the election, and by posting a copy of the notice at three (3) public places in the municipality. Nothing herein, however, shall be applicable to elections on the question of the issuance of the bonds of a municipality or to general or primary elections for the election of municipal officers.
The provisions of this section shall be applicable to all municipalities of this state, whether operating under a code charter, special charter or the commission form of government, except in cases of conflicts between the provisions of the section and the provisions of the special charter of a municipality, or the law governing the commission form of government, in which cases of conflict the provisions of the special charter or the statutes relative to the commission form of government shall apply.

 

ARTICLE 27. REGULATION OF ELECTIONS

§ 23-15-871. General prohibitions with respect to employers, employees, and public officials.

(1) No corporation or any officer or employee thereof, or any member of a firm, or trustee or any member of any association, or any other employer, may direct or coerce, directly or indirectly, any employee to vote or not to vote for any particular person or group of persons in any election, or to discharge or to threaten to discharge any such employee, or to increase or decrease the salary or wages of an employee, or otherwise promote or demote the employee, because of his or her vote or failure to vote for any particular candidate or group of candidates.
(2) No employer, or employee having the authority to employ or discharge other employees, may make any statement public or private, or give out or circulate any report or statement, calculated to intimidate or coerce or otherwise influence any vote of an employee, and when any such statement has been circulated, it shall be the duty of the employer to publicly repudiate it or the employer shall be deemed by way of ratification to have made it himself or herself.
(3) No employee may be requested, directed or permitted to canvass for or against any candidate or render any other services for or against any candidate or group of candidates, during any of the hours within which the salary of the employee as an employee is being paid or agreed to be paid. No employee may be allowed any vacation or leave of absence at the expense of the employer to render any service or services for or against any candidate or group of candidates, or to take any active part in any election campaign whatsoever, except the necessary time to cast his or her vote.
(4) The prohibitions of this section shall apply to all state, state district, county and county district officers, and to any board or commission and the members thereof by whatever name designated and whether elective or appointive, and to each one of those employed by them or any of them.
(5) No state, state district, county or county district officer, or any employee who directly or indirectly has the control, or who asserts that he or she has such power, over the expenditure of any public funds in this state shall state, suggest or intimate, publicly or privately, or in any manner or form, that any such expenditure shall depend upon or be influenced by the vote of any person, group of persons, or community or group of communities, whether for or against any candidate or group of candidates at any election.
(6) This section and every part of it shall apply also to all federal officers, agents, employees, boards and commissions as to any interference contrary to the provisions of this chapter, in the elections of this state.
(7) Any violation of this section shall be a violation of Section 97-13-37 and shall be referred to a district attorney for prosecution.

 

§ 23-15-873. Prohibitions against promises of public positions or employment, public contracts, or public expenditures; exceptions; violation of section constitutes violation of Section 97-13-37.

(1) No person, whether an officer or not, shall, in order to promote his or her own candidacy, or that of any other person, to be a candidate for public office in this state, directly or indirectly, himself, or herself or through another person, promise to appoint, or promise to secure or assist in securing the appointment, nomination or election of another person to any public position or employment, or to secure or assist in securing any public contract or the employment of any person under any public contractor, or to secure or assist in securing the expenditure of any public funds in the personal behalf of any particular person or group of persons, except that the candidate may publicly announce what is his or her choice or purpose in relation to an election in which he or she may be called on to take part if elected.
(2) It shall be unlawful for any person to directly or indirectly solicit or receive any promise by this section prohibited, but this does not apply to any person when it comes to their office force.
(3) Any violation of this section shall constitute a violation of Section 97-13-37 and shall be referred to the district attorney for prosecution.

 

§ 23-15-874. Prohibition against use of court personnel in judicial campaigns; violations.

A candidate for judicial office shall not use court administrators, deputy court administrators, court reporters, deputy court reporters, judges’ secretaries or law clerks as workers in his or her campaign activities. Violations of this section shall be referred to the Commission on Judicial Performance.

 

§ 23-15-875. Prohibitions against charges with respect to integrity of candidate.

No person, including a candidate, shall publicly or privately make, in a campaign then in progress, any charge or charges reflecting upon the honesty, integrity or moral character of any candidate, so far as his or her private life is concerned, unless the charge be in fact true and actually capable of proof; and any person who makes any such charge shall have the burden of proof to show the truth thereof when called to account therefor under any affidavit or indictment against him or her for a violation of this section. Any language deliberately uttered or published which, when fairly and reasonably construed and as commonly understood, would clearly and unmistakably imply any such charge, shall be deemed and held to be the equivalent of a direct charge.

 

§ 23-15-877. Prohibitions against newspaper editorials and stories with respect to integrity of candidate; newspaper’s obligation to print reply; liability for damages.

If during any election campaign in Mississippi any newspaper either domiciled in the state, or outside of the state circulating inside the State of Mississippi, shall print any editorial or news story reflecting upon the honesty or integrity or moral character of any candidate in such campaign or on the honesty and integrity or moral character of any candidate who was elected or defeated in such campaign, such newspaper shall, on the written or telegraphic request of such candidate or his agents, print in such newspaper not later than the second issue of such newspaper following the receipt of such request, a statement by the candidate or his duly accredited representative giving the candidate’s reply. Such statement shall be printed in the exact language which the candidate or his representative presents and shall be printed as near as is practical on the same page, in the same position, and in the same size type and headlines as the original editorial or news story reflecting on the candidate had been printed. This section shall be construed to include those news stories wherein the newspaper quotes from a candidate or individual statements attacking the honesty or integrity or moral character of a candidate or ex-candidate.
If such newspaper fails or refuses to publish such answer when requested, the owner of such newspaper shall be liable to a suit for damages by the candidate claiming to be injured by such publication. In event of a verdict in favor of the plaintiff, the measure of damages shall be the injury suffered or a penalty of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), whichever is the larger amount. In all cases, the truth of the charge may be offered as defense to the suit. But nothing herein contained shall be construed to abolish any existing legal rights of action in such cases.

 

§ 23-15-879. Exemption of newspapers and other publications from requirements as to subscription of printed matter.

Section 23-15-897 shall not apply to editorials, original or copies, in any newspaper or other publication regularly published and issued to bona fide paid subscribers, and not published and issued solely or principally for political purposes, or to news matter prepared and written by the regularly employed staff of the paper, or to the printing in said paper of any letter together with the signature thereto, provided that any of the matter so printed and published  is not prohibited by the provisions of Section 23-15-875 or 23-15-877, or by some other prohibition of law.

 

§ 23-15-881. Prohibitions against excessive expenditures or hiring of workers for state highways or public roads; maintenance of records.

It shall be unlawful for the Mississippi Transportation Commission or any member of the Mississippi Transportation Commission, or the board of supervisors of any county or any member of the board of supervisors of such county, to employ, during the months of May, June, July and August of any year in which a general primary election is held for the nomination and election of members of the Mississippi Transportation Commission and members of the boards of supervisors, a greater number of persons to work and maintain the state highways, in any highway district, or the public roads, in any supervisors district of the county, as the case may be, than the average number of persons employed for similar purposes in such highway district or supervisors district, as the case may be, during the months of May, June, July and August of the three (3) years immediately preceding the year in which such general primary election is held. It shall be unlawful for the Mississippi Transportation Commission, or the board of supervisors of any county, to expend out of the state highway funds, or the road funds of the county or any supervisors district thereof, as the case may be, in the payment of wages or other compensation for labor performed in working and maintaining the highways of any highway district, or the public roads of any supervisors district of the county, as the case may be, during the months of May, June, July and August of such election year, a total amount in excess of the average total amount expended for such labor, in such highway district or supervisors district, as the case may be, during the corresponding four-month period of the three (3) years immediately preceding.
It shall be the duty of the Mississippi Transportation Commission and the board of supervisors of each county, respectively, to keep sufficient records of the numbers of employees and expenditures made for labor on the state highways of each highway district, and the public roads of each supervisors district, for the months of May, June, July and August of each year, to show the number of persons employed for such work in each highway district and each supervisors district, as the case may be, during said four-month period, and the total amount expended in the payment of salaries and other compensation to such employees, so that it may be ascertained, from an examination of such records, whether or not the provisions of this chapter have been violated.

 

§ 23-15-883. Exceptions to prohibitions with respect to state highway or public road expenditures or employment.

The restriction imposed upon the Mississippi Transportation Commission and the boards of supervisors of the several counties in the employment of labor to work and maintain the state highways and the public roads of the several supervisors’ districts of the county, as provided in Section 23-15-881, shall not apply to road contractors or bridge contractors engaged in the construction or maintenance of state highways or county roads under contracts awarded by the Mississippi Transportation Commission, or the board of supervisors, as the case may be, where such contracts shall have been awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, after legal advertisement, as provided by law; nor shall the restriction imposed in Section 23-15-881 apply to the labor employed by such road contractors or bridge contractors in carrying out such contracts. Nor shall the provisions of this chapter apply to the employment by the Mississippi Transportation Commission, or the board of supervisors, as the case may be, of extra labor employed to make repairs upon the state highways or highway bridges, or upon the county roads or bridges, in cases where such state highways or highway bridges, or such county roads or bridges, have been damaged or destroyed by severe storms, floods or other unforeseen disasters.

 

§ 23-15-885. Prohibitions against excessive expenditures or hiring of workers for streets of municipalities.

The restrictions imposed in Sections 23-15-881 and 23-15-883 shall likewise apply to the mayor and board of aldermen, or other governing authority, of each municipality, in the employment of labor for working and maintaining the streets of the municipality during the four-month period next preceding the date of holding the general primary election in such municipality for the election of municipal officers.

 

§ 23-15-887. Penalties for violation of chapter by member of Mississippi Transportation Commission, member of board of supervisors, or mayor or member of board of aldermen or other governing authority of municipality.

If any member of the Mississippi Transportation Commission, and any member of the board of supervisors, or the mayor or any member of the board of aldermen or other governing authority of any municipality, shall violate the provisions of this article, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to exceed six (6) months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

 

§ 23-15-889. Prohibitions against buying or selling vote or offering to do so; penalties.

It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or offer to sell his or her vote and it shall be likewise unlawful for any person to offer money or anything of substantial value to anyone for his vote. Anyone violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not less than Fifty Dollars ($50.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or imprisoned not more than six (6) months, or both.

 

§ 23-15-891. Prohibition against provision of free services or services at reduced rates by common carriers, Internet service providers, or telephone companies; requirement of sworn statement.

No common carrier, Internet service provider or telephone company shall give to any candidate, or to any member of any political committee, or to any person to be used to aid or promote the success or defeat of any candidate for election for any public office, free transportation or Internet service or telephone service, as the case may be, or any reduction thereof that is not made alike to all other persons. All persons required by the provisions of this chapter to make and file statements shall make oath that they have not received or made use of, directly or indirectly, in connection with any candidacy for nomination to any public office, free transportation or Internet or telephone service.

§ 23-15-893. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 441, § 202, effective July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-893. [Derived from 1942 Code § 3132 [Codes, 1906, § 3720; Hemingway’s 1917, § 6412; 1930, § 5889; repealed by Laws, 1970, ch 506]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 274; Laws, 1989, ch. 384, § 1, eff from and after April 14, 1989 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection to the amendment).]

§ 23-15-895. Prohibition against distribution of campaign material within 150 feet of polling place; prohibition against appearance of certain persons at polling place while armed, uniformed, or displaying badge or credentials; enforcement.

No candidate for an elective office, or any representative of such candidate, and no proponent or opponent of any constitutional amendment, local issue or other measure printed on the ballot may post or distribute cards, posters or other campaign literature within one hundred fifty (150) feet of any entrance of the building wherein any election is being held. No candidate or a representative named by him or her in writing may appear at any polling place while armed or uniformed, or display any badge or credentials except as may be issued by the manager of the polling place. As used in this section, the term “local issue” shall have the meaning ascribed to such term in Section 23-15-375. This section shall be enforced by election officials and law enforcement officials.

§ 23-15-897. Certain information to be included in campaign materials; compliance with section for campaign materials published on electronic platform.

(1) The following words and phrases shall have the meanings as defined in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(a) “Campaign materials” include any materials designed to influence voters for or against any candidate, party or measure to be voted on at any election, or containing information about any candidate, party or measure paid for by a candidate, political committee, or independent expenditure which requires disclosure under campaign finance laws.
(b) “Publish” means the act or instance of making campaign material available to the public, or to a list of subscribers, by mail, telephone, electronic communications platforms, Internet, software applications, printed materials or any other means of distribution.
(c) “Printed material” shall include, but not be limited to, any notice, placard, bill, poster, dodger, pamphlet, advertisement, sign or any other form of printed publication, except notices, posters and the like, which simply announce a speaking date and invite attendance thereon.

(2) No candidate, political committee or other person shall publish, or knowingly cause to be published, any campaign materials unless it contains the following information:

(a) The name of the candidate along with a statement that the message is approved by the candidate; or
(b) If the message has not been approved by a specific candidate, the name of the person, political committee or organization paying for the publication of the message; or
(c) If the message has not been approved by the candidate and no person, political committee or organization is identified as having paid for the publication, the entity producing the campaign materials must be identified.

(3) Publication of campaign materials through an electronic platform shall be deemed to comply with the requirements of this section if the home page of the candidate or political committee provides the information required by subsection (2), and each electronic publication provides a link to that home page.

 

§ 23-15-899. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws of 2017, ch. 441, § 203, effective July 1, 2017.
§ 23-15-899. [Derived from 1942 Code § 3141 [Codes, 1906, § 3728; Hemingway’s 1917, § 6422; 1930, § 5894; repealed by Laws, 1970, ch. 506]; en, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 277; Laws, 1987, ch. 499, § 9, eff from and after July 24, 1987 (the date on which the United States Attorney General interposed no objection to the amendment).]

 

§ 23-15-901. Electors’ privilege from arrest.

Electors shall in all cases other than those of treason, felony or breach of the peace be privileged from arrest during their attendance on elections and going to and returning from the same.

 

§ 23-15-903. Procedure for filing complaint of violation of election law.

In addition to any other procedure provided by law, any person who has reason to believe that any election law has been violated may file a written complaint with the election commissioners of the county in which the alleged violation occurred. If the election commissioners determine the allegations in the complaint, if true, would be a violation of this chapter or Section 97-13-1, et seq., the election commissioners shall refer the complaint to the district attorney for prosecution.

 

§ 23-15-905. Qualifying as candidate for more than one office prohibited under certain circumstances.

(1) No person may qualify as a candidate for more than one (1) office if the election for those offices occurs on the same day. If a person takes the steps necessary to qualify for more than one (1) office, the appropriate executive committee or election commissioner shall determine the last office for which the person qualified and the person shall be considered to be qualified as a candidate for that office only and the person shall be notified of this determination. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to elections for municipal office.
(2) No person may qualify as a candidate for more than one (1) municipal office if the election for those offices occurs on the same day. If a person takes the steps necessary to qualify for more than one (1) office, the appropriate executive committee or election commissioner shall determine the last office for which the person qualified and the person shall be considered to be qualified as a candidate for that office only and the person shall be notified of this determination.

 

ARTICLE 29. ELECTION CONTESTS

 

SUBARTICLE A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

§ 23-15-911. Control of ballot boxes and their contents after general or primary elections; examinations by candidates or their representatives.

(1)

(a) When the returns for a box and the contents of the ballot box and the conduct of the election have been canvassed and reviewed by the county election commission in the case of general elections or the county executive committee in the case of primary elections, all the contents of the box required to be placed and sealed in the ballot box by the poll managers shall be replaced therein by the election commission or executive committee, as the case may be, and the box shall be forthwith resealed and delivered to the circuit clerk, who shall safely keep and secure the same against any tampering. At any time within twelve (12) days after the canvass and examination of the box and its contents by the election commission or executive committee, as the case may be, any candidate or his or her representative authorized in writing by him or her shall have the right of full examination of the box and its contents upon three (3) days’ notice of his or her application therefor served upon the opposing candidates. The service of notice shall be provided to each opposing candidate by delivering a copy personally to each candidate, or by performing two (2) of the following:

(i) By leaving a copy at each candidate’s usual place of residence with a family member, who shall be no less than sixteen (16) years of age and, who resides in the candidate’s residence;
(ii) By email or other electronic means, with receipt deemed upon transmission; or
(iii) By mailing a copy of the notice by registered or certified mail that is addressed to each opposing candidate at that candidate’s residence with receipt deemed mailing.

(b) If service of notice cannot be made to any opposing candidate, then notice may be posted on the door of each candidate’s usual place of abode. If any candidate’s usual place of residence is a multi-family dwelling, a copy of the notice must be mailed to the candidate or candidates by United States first-class mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested. Proof of service of notice upon any opposing candidate shall be made to the circuit clerk within three (3) days before a full examination of the ballot box may be conducted.
(c) The examination shall be conducted in the presence of the circuit clerk or his or her deputy who shall be charged with the duty to see that none of the contents of the box are removed from the presence of the clerk or in any way tampered with. Upon the completion of the examination the box shall be resealed with all its original contents inside. And if any contest or complaint before the court shall arise over the box, it shall be kept intact and sealed until the court hearing and another ballot box, if necessary, shall be furnished for the precinct involved.

(2) The provisions of this section allowing the examination of ballot boxes shall apply in the case of an election contest regarding the seat of a member of the state Legislature. In such a case, the results of the examination shall be reported by the applicable circuit clerk to the Clerk of the House of Representatives or the Secretary of the Senate, as the case may be.

§ 23-15-913. Judges to be available to hear and resolve election day disputes.

The judges listed and selected to hear election disputes, as provided in Section 23-15-951, shall be available on election day to immediately hear and resolve any election day disputes. The rules for filing pleadings shall be relaxed to carry out the purposes of this section. The judges selected shall perform no other judicial duties on election day. The Supreme Court shall make judges available to hear disputes in the county in which the disputes occur but no judge shall hear disputes in the district or county in which he or she was elected nor shall any judge hear any dispute in which any potential conflict may arise. Each judge shall be fair and impartial and shall be assigned on that basis.

 

SUBARTICLE B. CONTESTS OF PRIMARY ELECTIONS

§ 23-15-921. Nominations to county or county district offices, etc.; petition, notice of contest, investigation, and determination.

Except as otherwise provided by Section 23-15-961, a person desiring to contest the election of another person returned as the nominee of the party to any county or county district office, or as the nominee of a legislative district composed of one (1) county or less, may, within twenty
(20) days after the primary election, file a petition with the secretary, or any member of the county executive committee in the county in which the election was held, setting forth the grounds upon which the primary election is contested; and it shall be the duty of the executive committee to assemble by call of the chairman or three (3) members of said committee, notice of which contest shall be served five (5) days before said meeting, and after notifying all parties concerned proceed to investigate the grounds upon which the election is contested and, by majority vote of members present, declare the true results of such primary.

 

§ 23-15-923. Nominations with respect to state, congressional, and judicial districts, etc.; investigation, findings, and declaration of nominee.

Except as otherwise provided in Section 23-15-961, a person desiring to contest the election of another returned as the nominee in state, congressional and judicial districts, and in legislative districts composed of more than one (1) county or parts of more than one (1) county, upon complaint filed with the Chairman of the State Executive Committee, by petition, reciting the grounds upon which the election is contested. If necessary and with the advice of four (4) members of said committee, the chairman shall issue his fiat to the chairman of the appropriate county executive committee, and in like manner as in the county office, the county committee shall investigate the complaint and return their findings to the chairman of the state committee. The State Executive Committee by majority vote of members present shall declare the true results of such primary.

 

§ 23-15-925. Power of committee to subpoena and to attach witnesses.

For the proper enforcement of the preceding sections the committee has the power to subpoena and, if necessary, attach witnesses needed in said investigation.

 

§ 23-15-927. Filing of protest and petition in circuit court in event of unreasonable delay by committee; requirement of certificate and cost bond; suspension of committee’s order.

When and after any contest has been filed with the county executive committee, or complaint with the State Executive Committee, and the executive committee having jurisdiction fails to promptly meet or, having met, fails or unreasonably delays to fully act upon the contest or complaint or fails to give with reasonable promptness the full relief required by the facts and the law, the contestant shall have the right forthwith to file in the circuit court of the county in which the irregularities are charged to have occurred, or, if more than one (1) county is involved, then in one (1) of the counties, a sworn copy of his protest or complaint, together with a sworn petition, setting forth with particularity how the executive committee has wrongfully failed to act or to fully and promptly investigate or has wrongfully denied the relief prayed by the contest, with a prayer for a judicial review thereof. A petition for judicial review must be filed within ten (10) days after any contest or complaint has been filed with an executive committee. The petition for a judicial review shall not be filed unless it bears the certificate of two (2) practicing attorneys stating that they have each fully made an independent investigation into the matters of fact and of law upon which the protest and petition are based, and that after the investigation they believe that the protest and petition should be sustained and that the relief prayed in the protest and petitions should be granted; the two (2) attorneys may not be practicing in the same law firm. The petitioner shall give a cost bond in the sum of Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00), with two (2) or more sufficient sureties conditioned to pay all costs in case his petition be dismissed, and an additional bond may be required, by the judge, if necessary, at any subsequent stage of the proceedings. The filing of the petition for judicial review in the manner set forth in this section shall automatically supersede and suspend the operation and effect of the order, ruling or judgment of the executive committee appealed from. In no event shall a prayer for relief be filed in any court other than the appropriate circuit court as authorized in this section.

 

§ 23-15-929. Designation of circuit judge or retired judge on senior status to determine contest; notice; answer and cross-complaint.

Upon the filing of the petition and bond as provided for in Section 23-15-927, the circuit clerk shall immediately, by registered letter or by telegraph or telephone, or personally, notify the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or, in his absence, or disability, some other judge of the Supreme Court, who shall forthwith designate and notify a circuit judge or a retired judge on senior status of a district other than that which embraces the county or any of the counties, involved in the contest or complaint, to proceed to the county in which the contest or complaint has been filed to hear and determine the contest or complaint, and it shall be the official duty of the trial judge to proceed to the discharge of the designated duty at the earliest possible date to be fixed by the judge and of which the contestant and contestee shall have reasonable notice, to be served in such reasonable manner as the judge may direct, in response to which notice the contestee shall promptly file his answer, and also his cross-complaint if he has one to prefer.

 

§ 23-15-931. Issuance of subpoenas and summonses by circuit clerk prior to hearing; assistance by, and findings of, election commissioners; entry of judgment by trial judge.

When the day for the hearing has been set, the circuit clerk shall issue subpoenas for witnesses as in other litigated cases, and he shall also issue a summons to each of the five (5) election commissioners of the county, unless they waive summons, requiring them to attend the hearing, throughout which the commissioners shall sit with the judge as advisors or assistants in the trial and determination of the facts, and as assistants in counts, calculations and inspections, and in seeing to it that ballots, papers, documents, books and the like are diligently secured against misplacement, alteration, concealment or loss both in the sessions and during recesses or adjournments. The judge is, however, the controlling judge both of the facts and the law, and has all the power in every respect of a circuit judge in termtime. The tribunal shall be attended by the sheriff, and clerk, each with sufficient deputies, and by a court reporter. The special tribunal so constituted shall fully hear the contest or complaint de novo, and the original contestant before the party executive committee shall have the burden of proof and the burden of going forward with the evidence in the hearing before the special tribunal. The special tribunal, after the contest or complaint has been fully heard anew, shall make a finding dictated to the reporter covering all controverted material issues of fact, together with any dissents of any commissioner, and thereupon, the trial judge shall enter the judgment which the county executive committee should have entered, of which the election commissioners shall take judicial notice, or if the matter be one within the jurisdiction of the State Executive Committee, the judgment shall be certified and promptly forwarded to the Secretary of the State Executive Committee, and, in the absence of an appeal, it shall be the duty of the State Executive Committee forthwith to reassemble and revise any decision theretofore made by it so as to conform to the judicial judgment; that when the contest is upon a complaint filed with the State Executive Committee and the petition to the court avers that the wrong or irregularity is one which occurred wholly within the proceedings of the state committee, the petition to the court shall be filed in the Circuit Court of Hinds County and, after notice served, shall be promptly heard by the circuit judge of that county, without the attendance of commissioners.

 

§ 23-15-933. Appeal from judgment; restrictions upon review of findings of fact.

The contestant or contestee, or both, may file an appeal in the Supreme Court within the time and under such conditions and procedures as are established by the Supreme Court for other appeals. If the findings of fact have been concurred in by all the commissioners in attendance, provided as many as three (3) commissioners are and have been in attendance, the facts shall not be subject to appellate review. But if not so many as three (3) of the commissioners are or have been in attendance, or if one or more commissioners dissent, upon review, the Supreme Court may make such findings as the evidence requires.

 

§ 23-15-935. Attendance or absence of election commissioners at hearing.

The trial judge shall have the same power to compel the attendance of the election commissioners upon and throughout the hearings as is given to the judge of a circuit court to compel the attendance of jurors, and the commissioners must attend unless physically unable so to do. But if any one or more or all of the commissioners are absent so as to not be served with notice, or is or are physically unable to attend, the trial judge shall proceed without them or any of them, so that the hearing shall not be delayed on their account or on account of any one or more of them. When, under Section 23-15-937, the hearing is transferred in whole or in part to another county or counties, the election commissioners of the county or counties to which the hearing is transferred shall attend the hearings in their respective counties, subject to foregoing provisions in respect to absent or disabled commissioners.

 

§ 23-15-937. Transfer of hearing; requirement of prompt adjudication; circumstances requiring special election.

If more than one (1) county is involved in a contest or complaint, the judge shall have the authority to transfer the hearing to a more convenient county within the district, if the contest or complaint involves a district office, or within the state if the contest or complaint involves a state office; or the judge may proceed to any county or counties in which the facts complained of are charged to have transpired, and there hear the evidence and make a finding of facts relating to that county and any convenient neighboring county or counties, but, in any event, if possible with due diligence to do so, the hearing must be completed and final judgment rendered in time to permit the printing and distribution of the official ballots at the election for which the contested nomination is made. When any judge lawfully designated to hear a contest or complaint shall not promptly and diligently proceed with the hearing and final determination of the contest or complaint, he shall be guilty of a high misdemeanor in office unless excused by actual illness, or by an equivalent excuse. When no final decision has been made by the time the official ballots are required to be printed, the name of the nominee declared by the party executive committee shall be printed on the official ballots as the party nominee, but the contest or complaint shall not thereby be dismissed but the cause shall nevertheless proceed to final judgment and if the judgment is in favor of the contestant, the election of the contestee shall thereby be vacated and the Governor, or the Lieutenant Governor, in case the Governor is a party to the contest, shall call a special election for the office or offices involved. If the contestee has already entered upon the term he shall vacate the office upon the qualification of the person elected at the special election, and may be removed by quo warranto if he fail so to do.

 

§ 23-15-939. Payment of traveling expenses of judge or chancellor; compensation of election commissioners.

The reasonable traveling expenses of the judge or chancellor shall be paid by order of the board of supervisors of the county or counties in which a contest or complaint is heard, upon an itemized certificate thereof by the judge or chancellor. The election commissioners shall be compensated for their services rendered under this section as is provided in Section 23-15-227.

 

§ 23-15-941. Willful violation of election statute constituting criminal offense; issuance of arrest warrant; delivery of papers to grand jury foreman.

If upon the hearing of a primary election contest or complaint, under Section 23-15-931, it shall distinctly appear to the trial judge that any person, including a candidate or election officer, has willfully and corruptly violated any primary election statute and such violation is by said statute made a criminal offense, whether a misdemeanor or a felony, it shall be the duty of the trial judge to issue immediately his warrant for the arrest of the guilty party, reciting in his order therefor, in brief, the grounds or causes for the arrest. Such warrant and a certified copy of the order shall be forthwith placed in the hands of the sheriff of the county wherein the offense occurred, and the sheriff shall at once, upon receipt of the warrant, arrest the party and commit him to prison, unless and until the party give bond in the sum of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) with two (2) or more good and sufficient sureties conditioned for his appearance at the next term of the circuit court and from term to term until discharged by law. When the arrest has been made and the bond, if any, given, the sheriff shall deliver all the papers therein with his return thereon to the circuit clerk who shall file, and thereafter personally deliver, the same to the foreman of the next grand jury.

 

SUBARTICLE C. CONTESTS OF OTHER ELECTIONS

§ 23-15-951. Filing of petition; designation of judges to hear election contests; trial by, and verdict of, jury; assumption of office.

Except as otherwise provided by Section 23-15-955 or 23-15-961, a person desiring to contest the election of another person returned as elected to any office within any county, may, within twenty (20) days after the election, file a petition in the office of the clerk of the circuit court of the county, setting forth the grounds upon which the election is contested. When such a petition is filed, the circuit clerk shall immediately notify, by registered letter, telegraph, telephone, or personally the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court or in his absence, or disability, some other Justice of the Supreme Court, who shall forthwith designate and notify a circuit judge or chancellor of a district other than that which embraces the district, subdistrict, county or any of the counties, involved in the contest or complaint, to proceed to the county in which the contest or complaint has been filed to hear and determine the contest or complaint. The circuit clerk shall also cause a copy of such petition to be served upon the contestee, which shall serve as notice to such contestee.
The Supreme Court shall compile a list of judges throughout the state to hear such disputes before an election. It shall be the official duty of the designated circuit judge or chancellor to proceed to discharge the duty of hearing the contest at the earliest possible date. The date of the contest shall be fixed by the judge or chancellor, and the judge or chancellor shall provide reasonable notice to the contestant and the contestee of the date and time fixed for the contest. The judge or chancellor shall cause the contestant and contestee to be served in a reasonable manner. When the contestee is served, such contestee shall promptly file his answer, and cross-complaint, if the contestee has a cross-complaint.
The court shall, at the first term, cause an issue to be made up and tried by a jury, and the verdict of the jury shall find the person having the greatest number of legal votes at the election. If the jury shall find against the person returned elected, the clerk shall issue a certificate thereof; and the person in whose favor the jury shall find shall be commissioned by the Governor, and shall qualify and enter upon the duties of his office. Each party shall be allowed ten (10) peremptory challenges, and new trials shall be granted and costs awarded as in other cases. In case the election of district attorney or other state district election be contested, the petition may be filed in any county of the district or in any county of an adjoining district within twenty (20) days after the election, and like proceedings shall be had thereon as in the case of county officers, and the person found to be entitled to the office shall qualify as required by law and enter upon the duties of his office.
A person desiring to contest the election of another person returned as elected to any seat in the Mississippi Legislature shall comply with the provisions of Section 23-15-955. A person desiring to contest the qualifications of a candidate for nomination in a political party primary election shall comply with the provisions of Section 23-15-961.

 

§ 23-15-953. Proceedings with respect to petition filed more than forty days before term of circuit court next after contested election.

If the petition shall be filed more than forty (40) days before the term of the circuit court next after the election which is contested, the summons may be made returnable, and a trial of the issue be had in vacation, in the manner prescribed for a trial in vacation of an information in the nature of a quo warranto; and all of the provisions in reference to a trial in vacation of such proceedings shall apply to the trial of issues as to contested elections in the state of case herein mentioned; but this section shall not be held to include a contest of the election of a justice court judge, constable, coroner, surveyor, or member of a board of supervisors.

 

§ 23-15-955. Proceedings with respect to election of member of Senate or House of Representatives.

Except as otherwise provided by Section 23-15-961, the person contesting the seat of any member of the Senate or House of Representatives shall comply with the provisions of this section. Section 38, Mississippi Constitution of 1890, provides that each house of the Mississippi State Legislature shall judge the qualifications, return and election of its membership. Pursuant to that authority, the House of Representatives shall have exclusive jurisdiction over an election contest regarding the seat of any member of the House of Representatives, and the Senate shall have exclusive jurisdiction over an election contest regarding the seat of any member of the Senate. An election contest regarding the seat of a member of the House of Representatives or the Senate shall be filed with the Clerk of the House or the Secretary of the Senate, as the case may be, within thirty (30) days after a regular general election or ten (10) days after a special election to fill a vacancy. The legislative resolution of the election contest shall be conducted in accordance with procedures and precedents established by the House of Representatives or the Senate, as the case may be. Such procedures and precedents may be found in the Journals of the House of Representatives and of the State Senate and/or in the published Rules of the House of Representatives and of the State Senate.

 

§ 23-15-957. Power to compel attendance of witnesses and production of documents.

Each house of the Legislature, the Clerk of the House of Representatives, the Secretary of the Senate, or any committee appointed to investigate the facts concerning the election or qualifications of any member or persons claimed to be such, shall have power to issue subpoenas and compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of such documents or papers as may be required. In addition, the clerk or the secretary, as the case may be, shall have the authority to enforce any subpoena issued by him or her and to enforce compliance with the time limitations set forth in Section 23-15-955 or in any internal procedure or precedent of the respective house of the State Legislature.

 

SUBARTICLE D. CONTESTS OF QUALIFICATIONS OF CANDIDATES

§ 23-15-961. Exclusive procedures for contesting qualifications of candidate for primary election; exceptions.

(1) Any person desiring to contest the qualifications of another person as a candidate for nomination in a political party primary election shall file a petition specifically setting forth the grounds of the challenge within ten (10) days after the qualifying deadline for the office in question. The petition shall be filed with the executive committee with whom the candidate in question qualified.
(2) Within ten (10) days of receipt of the petition described in subsection (1) of this section, the appropriate executive committee shall meet and rule upon the petition. At least two (2) days before the hearing to consider the petition, the appropriate executive committee shall give notice to both the petitioner and the contested candidate of the time and place of the hearing on the petition. Each party shall be given an opportunity to be heard at that meeting and present evidence in support of his position.
(3) If the appropriate executive committee fails to rule upon the petition within the time required in subsection (2) of this section, that inaction shall be interpreted as a denial of the request for relief contained in the petition.
(4) Any party aggrieved by the action or inaction of the appropriate executive committee may file a petition for judicial review to the circuit court of the county in which the executive committee whose decision is being reviewed sits. The petition must be filed no later than fifteen (15) days after the date the petition was originally filed with the appropriate executive committee. The person filing for judicial review shall give a cost bond in the sum of Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) with two (2) or more sufficient sureties conditioned to pay all costs in case his petition be dismissed, and an additional bond may be required, by the court, if necessary, at any subsequent stage of the proceedings.
(5) Upon the filing of the petition and bond, the circuit clerk shall immediately, by registered letter or by telegraph or by telephone, or personally, notify the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or in his absence, or disability, some other judge of the Supreme Court, who shall forthwith designate and notify a circuit judge or retired judge on senior status of a district other than that which embraces the district, subdistrict, county or any of the counties, involved in the contest or complaint, to proceed to the county in which the contest or complaint has been filed to hear and determine the contest or complaint. It shall be the official duty of the trial judge to proceed to the discharge of the designated duty at the earliest possible date to be fixed by the judge and of which the contestant and contestee shall have reasonable notice. The contestant and contestee are to be served in a reasonable manner as the judge may direct, in response to which notice the contestee shall promptly file his answer, and also his cross-complaint if he has a cross-complaint. The hearing before the trial court shall be de novo. The matter shall be tried to the trial judge, without a jury. After hearing the evidence, the trial judge shall determine whether the candidate whose qualifications have been challenged is legally qualified to have his name placed upon the ballot in question. The trial judge may, upon disqualification of any such candidate, order that such candidate shall bear the court costs of the proceedings.
(6) Within three (3) days after judgment is rendered by the circuit court, the contestant or contestee, or both, may file an appeal in the Supreme Court upon giving a cost bond in the sum of Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00), together with a bill of exceptions which shall state the point or points of law at issue with a sufficient synopsis of the facts to fully disclose the bearing and relevancy of such points of law. The bill of exceptions shall be signed by the trial judge, or in case of his absence, refusal or disability, by two (2) disinterested attorneys, as is provided by law in other cases of bills of exception. The filing of such appeals shall automatically suspend the decision of the circuit court and the appropriate executive committee is entitled to proceed based upon their decision unless and until the Supreme Court, in its discretion, stays further proceedings in the matter. The appeal shall be immediately docketed in the Supreme Court and referred to the court en banc upon briefs without oral argument unless the court shall call for oral argument, and shall be decided at the earliest possible date, as a preference case over all others. The Supreme Court shall have the authority to grant such relief as is appropriate under the circumstances.
(7) The procedure set forth in this section shall be the sole and only manner in which the qualifications of a candidate seeking public office as a party nominee may be challenged prior to the time of his nomination or election. After a party nominee has been elected to public office, the election may be challenged as otherwise provided by law. After a party nominee assumes an elective office, his qualifications to hold that office may be contested as otherwise provided by law.

 

§ 23-15-963. Exclusive procedures for contesting qualifications of candidate for general election; exceptions.

(1) Any person desiring to contest the qualifications of another person who has qualified pursuant to the provisions of Section 23-15-359, Mississippi Code of 1972, as a candidate for any office elected at a general election, shall file a petition specifically setting forth the grounds of the challenge not later than thirty-one (31) days after the date of the first primary election set forth in Section 23-15-191, Mississippi Code of 1972. Such petition shall be filed with the same body with whom the candidate in question qualified pursuant to Section 23-15-359, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(2) Any person desiring to contest the qualifications of another person who has qualified pursuant to the provisions of Section 23-15-213, Mississippi Code of 1972, as a candidate for county election commissioner elected at a general election, shall file a petition specifically setting forth the grounds of the challenge no later than sixty (60) days prior to the general election. Such petition shall be filed with the county board of supervisors, being the same body with whom the candidate in question qualified pursuant to Section 23-15-213, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(3) Any person desiring to contest the qualifications of another person who has qualified pursuant to the provisions of Section 23-15-361, Mississippi Code of 1972, as a candidate for municipal office elected on the date designated by law for regular municipal elections, shall file a petition specifically setting forth the grounds of the challenge no later than thirty-one (31) days after the date of the first primary election set forth in Section 23-15-309, Mississippi Code of 1972. Such petition shall be filed with the municipal commissioners of election, being the same body with whom the candidate in question qualified pursuant to Section 23-15-361, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(4) Within ten (10) days of receipt of the petition described in subsections (1), (2) and (3) of this section, the appropriate election officials shall meet and rule upon the petition. At least two (2) days before the hearing to consider the petition, the appropriate election officials shall give notice to both the petitioner and the contested candidate of the time and place of the hearing on the petition. Each party shall be given an opportunity to be heard at such meeting and present evidence in support of his position.
(5) If the appropriate election officials fail to rule upon the petition within the time required above, such inaction shall be interpreted as a denial of the request for relief contained in the petition.
(6) Any party aggrieved by the action or inaction of the appropriate election officials may file a petition for judicial review to the circuit court of the county in which the election officials whose decision is being reviewed sits. Such petition must be filed no later than fifteen (15) days after the date the petition was originally filed with the appropriate election officials. Such person filing for judicial review shall give a cost bond in the sum of Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) with two (2) or more sufficient sureties conditioned to pay all costs in case his petition be dismissed, and an additional bond may be required, by the court, if necessary, at any subsequent stage of the proceedings.

(7) The circuit court with whom such a petition for judicial review has been filed shall at the earliest possible date set the matter for hearing. Notice shall be given the interested parties of the time set for hearing by the circuit clerk. The hearing before the circuit court shall be de novo. The matter shall be tried to the circuit judge, without a jury. After hearing the evidence, the circuit judge shall determine whether the candidate whose qualifications have been challenged is legally qualified to have his name placed upon the ballot in question. The circuit judge may, upon disqualification of any such candidate, order that such candidate shall bear the court costs of the proceedings.
(8) Within three (3) days after judgment is rendered by the circuit court, the contestant or contestee, or both, may file an appeal in the Supreme Court upon giving a cost bond in the sum of Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00), together with a bill of exceptions which shall state the point or points of law at issue with a sufficient synopsis of the facts to fully disclose the bearing and relevancy of such points of law. The bill of exceptions shall be signed by the trial judge, or in case of his absence, refusal or disability, by two (2) disinterested attorneys, as is provided by law in other cases of bills of exception. The filing of such appeals shall automatically suspend the decision of the circuit court and the appropriate election officials are entitled to proceed based upon their decision unless and until the Supreme Court, in its discretion, stays further proceedings in the matter. The appeal shall be immediately docketed in the Supreme Court and referred to the court en banc upon briefs without oral argument unless the court shall call for oral argument, and shall be decided at the earliest possible date, as a preference case over all others. The Supreme Court shall have the authority to grant such relief as is appropriate under the circumstances.
(9) The procedure set forth above shall be the sole and only manner in which the qualifications of a candidate seeking public office who qualified pursuant to the provisions of Sections 23-15-359, 23-15-213 and 23-15-361, Mississippi Code of 1972, may be challenged prior to the time of his election. After any such person has been elected to public office, the election may be challenged as otherwise provided by law. After any person assumes an elective office, his qualifications to hold that office may be contested as otherwise provided by law.

 

ARTICLE 31. JUDICIAL OFFICES

 

SUBARTICLE A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

§ 23-15-971. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1994, ch. 564, § 102, eff from and after September 6, 1994 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection to the repeal of this section).
[Derived from 1942 Code § 3151 [Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 6431; 1930, § 5904; Laws,
1916, ch. 161; Repealed by Laws, 1970, ch. 506, § 33, and 1986, ch. 495, § 346]; En, Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 295. [Am Laws, 1993, ch. 518, § 30

 

§ 23-15-973. Opportunities for candidates to address people during court terms; restrictions with respect to political affiliations; penalties for violations.

It shall be the duty of the judges of the circuit court to give a reasonable time and opportunity to the candidates for the office of judge of the Supreme Court, judges of the Court of Appeals, circuit judge and chancellor to address the people during court terms. In order to give further and every possible emphasis to the fact that the said judicial offices are not political but are to be held without favor and with absolute impartiality as to all persons, and because of the jurisdiction conferred upon the courts by this chapter, the judges thereof should be as far removed as possible from any political affiliations or obligations. It shall be unlawful for any candidate for any of the offices mentioned in this section to align himself with any candidate or candidates for any other office or with any political faction or any political party at any time during any primary or general election campaign. Likewise it shall be unlawful for any candidate for any other office nominated or to be nominated at any primary election, wherein any candidate for any of the judicial offices in this section mentioned, is or are to be nominated, to align himself with any one or more of the candidates for said offices or to take any part whatever in any nomination for any one or more of said judicial offices, except to cast his individual vote. Any candidate for any office, whether nominated with or without opposition, at any primary wherein a candidate for any one of the judicial offices herein mentioned is to be nominated who shall deliberately, knowingly and willfully violate the provisions of this section shall forfeit his nomination, or if elected at the following general election by virtue of said nomination, his election shall be void.

 

§ 23-15-974. Nonpartisan Judicial Election Act; short title.

Sections 23-15-974 through 23-15-985 of this subarticle shall be known as the “Nonpartisan Judicial Election Act.”

 

§ 23-15-975. “Judicial office” defined; positions deemed positions as full-time positions; prohibition against practice of law.

As used in Sections 23-15-974 through 23-15-985 of this subarticle, the term “judicial office” includes the office of justice of the Supreme Court, judge of the Court of Appeals, circuit judge, chancellor, county court judge and family court judge. All such justices and judges shall be full-time positions and such justices and judges shall not engage in the practice of law before any court, administrative agency or other judicial or quasi-judicial forum except as provided by law for finalizing pending cases after election to judicial office.

 

§ 23-15-976. Judicial office deemed nonpartisan office; candidate for judicial office prohibited from campaigning or qualifying for office based on party affiliation; prohibition on political party fund-raising, campaigning, or contributions on behalf of candidate for judicial office.

A judicial office is a nonpartisan office and a candidate for election thereto is prohibited from campaigning or qualifying for such an office based on party affiliation. The Legislature finds that in order to ensure that campaigns for nonpartisan judicial office remain nonpartisan and without any connection to a political party, political parties and any committee or political committee affiliated with a political party shall not engage in fund-raising on behalf of a candidate or officeholder of a nonpartisan judicial office, nor shall a political party or any committee or political committee affiliated with a political party make any contribution to a candidate for nonpartisan judicial office or the political committee of a candidate for nonpartisan judicial office, nor shall a political party or any committee or political committee affiliated with a political party publicly endorse any candidate for nonpartisan judicial office. No candidate or candidate’s political committee for nonpartisan judicial office shall accept a contribution from a political party or any committee or political committee affiliated with a political party.

 

§ 23-15-977. Filing of intent to be candidate and fees by candidates for judicial office; notification of county commissioners of filings; procedures to be followed if there is only one candidate who becomes disqualified from holding judicial office after filing deadline.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, all candidates for judicial office as defined in Section 23-15-975 of this subarticle shall file their intent to be a candidate with the proper officials not later than 5:00 p.m. on the first Friday after the first Monday in May before the general election for judicial office and shall pay to the proper officials the following amounts:

(a) Candidates for Supreme Court judge and Court of Appeals, the sum of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00).
(b) Candidates for circuit judge and chancellor, the sum of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00).
(c) Candidates for county judge and family court judge, the sum of Fifteen Dollars ($15.00).

Candidates for judicial office may not file their intent to be a candidate and pay the proper assessment before January 1 of the year in which the election for the judicial office is held.
(2) Candidates for judicial offices listed in paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (1) of this section shall file their intent to be a candidate with, and pay the proper assessment made pursuant to subsection (1) of this section to, the State Board of Election Commissioners.
(3) Candidates for judicial offices listed in paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of this section shall file their intent to be a candidate with, and pay the proper assessment made pursuant to subsection (1) of this section to, the circuit clerk of the proper county. The circuit clerk shall notify the county election commissioners of all persons who have filed their intent to be a candidate with, and paid the proper assessment to, such clerk. The notification shall occur within two (2) business days and shall contain all necessary information.
(4) If only one (1) person files his or her intent to be a candidate for a judicial office and that person later dies, resigns or is otherwise disqualified from holding the judicial office after the deadline provided for in subsection (1) of this section but more than seventy (70) days before the date of the general election, the Governor, upon notification of the death, resignation or disqualification of the person, shall issue a proclamation authorizing candidates to file their intent to be a candidate for that judicial office for a period of not less than seven (7) nor more than ten (10) days from the date of the proclamation.
(5) If only one (1) person qualifies as a candidate for a judicial office and that person later dies, resigns or is otherwise disqualified from holding the judicial office within seventy (70) days before the date of the general election, the judicial office shall be considered vacant for the new term and the vacancy shall be filled as provided in by law.

 

§ 23-15-977.1. Signing oath to abide by election laws.

Simultaneously with filing the required documents to seek election for a judicial office, the candidate shall sign the following pledge under oath and under penalty of perjury:

“State of Mississippi

County of __________
I, __________(name of candidate), do solemnly swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that I will faithfully abide by all laws, canons and regulations applicable to elections for judicial office, understanding that a campaign for a judicial office should reflect the dignity, responsibility and professional character that a person chosen for a judicial office should possess.

_______________

(signature of candidate)

_______________

(name of candidate)

Sworn to and subscribed before me, this the _____ day of _____, _____.

_______________

Notary Public or other official authorized to administer oaths”

§ 23-15-978. Placement of names of candidates for judicial office should appear on ballot.

The names of candidates for judicial office which appear on the ballot at the general election shall be grouped together on a separate portion of the ballot, clearly identified as nonpartisan judicial elections.

 

§ 23-15-979. Order for listing on ballot of names of candidates for judicial office; references to political party affiliation.

The names of all candidates for judicial office shall be listed in alphabetical order on any ballot and no reference to political party affiliation shall appear on any ballot with respect to any nonpartisan judicial office or candidate.

 

§ 23-15-980. Listing of unopposed candidates for judicial office on general election ballot.

The name of an unopposed candidate for judicial office shall be placed on the general election ballot.

§ 23-15-981. Two or more candidates qualify for judicial office; majority vote wins; runoff election.

If two (2) or more candidates qualify for judicial office, the names of those candidates shall be placed on the general election ballot. If any candidate for such an office receives a majority of the votes cast for such office in the general election, he shall be declared elected. If no candidate for such office receives a majority of the votes cast for such office in the general election, the names of the two (2) candidates receiving the highest number of votes for such office shall be placed on the ballot for a second election to be held three (3) weeks later in accordance with appropriate procedures followed in other elections involving runoff candidates.

 

§§ 23-15-982 through 23-15-984. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2005, ch. 501, § 20, eff from and after Jan. 1, 2007.
§ 23-15-982. [Laws, 1994, ch 564, § 84; Laws, 1997, ch. 378, § 2, eff from and after October 21, 1997 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section).]
§ 23-15-983. [Laws, 1994, ch 564, § 85; Laws, 1997, ch. 378, § 3, eff from and after October 21, 1997 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section).]
§ 23-15-984. [Laws, 1994, ch 564, § 86, eff from and after September 6, 1994 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection to the addition of this section).]

 

§ 23-15-985. Electors qualified to vote for candidates for nomination for judicial office.

In any election for judicial office, all qualified electors, regardless of party affiliation or lack thereof, shall be qualified to vote for candidates for nomination for judicial office.

 

SUBARTICLE B. SUPREME COURT JUDGESHIPS

§ 23-15-991. Term of office; elections.

The term of office of judges of the Supreme Court shall be eight (8) years. Concurrently with the regular election for representatives in Congress, held next preceding the expiration of the term of an incumbent, and likewise each eighth year thereafter, an election shall be held in the Supreme Court district from which such incumbent was elected at which there shall be elected a successor to the incumbent, whose term of office shall thereafter begin on the first Monday of January of the year in which the term of the incumbent he succeeds expires.

 

§ 23-15-993. Each of judgeships deemed separate office; designation of positions for offices.

For the purpose of all elections, each of the nine (9) judgeships of the Supreme Court shall be considered a separate office. The three (3) offices in each of the three (3) Supreme Court districts shall be designated Position Number 1, Position Number 2 and Position Number 3, and in qualifying for office as a candidate for any office of judge of the Supreme Court each candidate shall state the position number of the office to which he aspires and the regular election ballots shall so indicate. In Supreme Court District Number 1: Position Number 1 shall be that office for which the term ends in January, 1966; Position Number 2 shall be that office for which the term ends in January, 1965; and Position Number 3 shall be that office for which the term ends in January, 1969. In District Number 2: Position Number 1 shall be that office for which the term ends in January, 1972; Position Number 2 shall be that office for which the term ends in January, 1969; and Position Number 3 shall be for that office for which the term ends in January, 1973. In District Number 3: Position Number 1 shall be that office for which the term ends in January, 1969; Position Number 2 shall be that office for which the term ends in January, 1969; and Position Number 3 shall be that office for which the term ends in January, 1965.

 

§ 23-15-994. Elections for judge of Court of Appeals to be as prescribed in Section 9-4-1 et seq.

Elections for the office of judge of the Court of Appeals shall be as prescribed in Section 9-4-1, et seq.

§ 23-15-995. Applicability to election of general laws for election of state officers.

Except as may be otherwise provided by the provisions of Sections 23-15-974 through 23-15-985, the general laws for the election of state officers shall apply to and govern the election of judges of the Supreme Court.

 

§ 23-15-997. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1994, ch 564, § 102, eff from and after September 6, 1994 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection to the repeal of this section).
[Derived from 1942 Code § 3149 [Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 6429; 1930, § 5902; Laws,
1916, ch. 161; Repealed by Laws, 1970, ch. 506, § 33, and 1986, ch. 495, § 346]; En Laws, 1986, ch. 495, § 300, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]

 

SUBARTICLE C. CIRCUIT COURT JUDGES AND CHANCELLORS

§ 23-15-1011. Time of taking office; term of office.

Circuit court judges and chancery court judges so elected shall take office at the time, and hold office for the term, provided in Sections 9-5-1 and 9-7-1, Mississippi Code of 1972.

 

§ 23-15-1013. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1994, ch 564, § 102, eff from and after September 6, 1994 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection to the repeal of this section).
[Derived from 1942 Code § 3148 [Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 6428; 1930, § 5901; Laws,
1914, ch. 150; Repealed by Laws, 1970, ch. 506, § 33, and 1986, ch. 495, § 346]; En, Laws,
1986, ch. 495, § 302, eff from and after January 1, 1987.]

 

§ 23-15-1015. Dates of elections; applicability to elections of laws regulating general elections.

On Tuesday after the first Monday in November 1986, and every four (4) years thereafter and concurrently with the election for representatives in Congress, there shall be held an election in every county for judges of the several circuit and chancery court districts. The laws regulating the general elections shall, except as otherwise provided for in Sections 23-15-974 through 23-15-985, apply to and govern elections of judges of the circuit and chancery courts.

 

SUBARTICLE D. CAMPAIGN FINANCING

 

§ 23-15-1021. Limitations on contributions.

It shall be unlawful for any individual or political action committee not affiliated with a political party to give, donate, appropriate or furnish directly or indirectly, any money, security, funds or property in excess of Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) for the purpose of aiding any candidate or candidate’s political committee for judge of a county, circuit or chancery court or in excess of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) for the purpose of aiding any candidate or candidate’s political committee for judge of the Court of Appeals or justice of the Supreme Court, or to give, donate, appropriate or furnish directly or indirectly, any money, security, funds or property in excess of Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) to any candidate or the candidate’s political committee for judge of a county, circuit or chancery court or in excess of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) for the purpose of aiding any candidate or candidate’s political committee for judge of the Court of Appeals or justice of the Supreme Court, as a contribution to the expense of a candidate for judicial office.

 

§ 23-15-1023. Disclosure of campaign finances.

Judicial candidates shall disclose the identity of any individual or entity from which the candidate or the candidate’s committee receives a loan or other extension of credit for use in his campaign and any cosigners for a loan or extension of credit. The candidate or the candidate’s committee shall disclose how the loan or other extension of credit was used, and how and when the loan or other extension of credit is to be repaid and the method of repayment. The candidate or the candidate’s committee shall disclose all loan documents related to such loans or extensions of credit.

§ 23-15-1025. Distribution of campaign materials.

If any material is distributed by a judicial candidate or his campaign committee or any other person or entity, or at the request of the candidate, his campaign committee or any other person or entity distributing the material shall state that it is distributed by the candidate or that it is being distributed with the candidate’s approval. All such material shall conspicuously identify who has prepared the material and who is distributing the material. The identifying language shall state whether or not the material has been submitted to and approved by the candidate. If the candidate has not approved the material, the material shall so state. The identity of organizations or committees shall state the names of all officers of the organizations or committees. Any person, who violates the provisions of this section, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or by imprisonment for six (6) months or both fine and imprisonment.

 

ARTICLE 33. MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

§ 23-15-1031. Dates of primary elections for congressmen; nomination of candidates for
U.S. Senator; certification of vote for U.S. Senator.

Except as provided by Section 23-15-1081, the first primary election for Congressmen shall be held on the first Tuesday in June of the years in which congressmen are elected, and a second primary, if necessary, shall be held three (3) weeks thereafter. Each year in which a presidential election is held, the congressional primary shall be held as provided in Section 23-15-1081. The election shall be held in all districts of the state on the same day. Candidates for United States Senator shall be nominated at the congressional primary next preceding the general election at which a senator is to be elected and in the same manner that congressmen are nominated. The chair and secretary of the state executive committee shall certify the vote for United States Senator to the Secretary of State in the same manner that county executive committees certify the returns of counties in general state and county primary elections.

 

§ 23-15-1033. Election of representatives in Congress by districts; issuance of commissions by Governor.

Representatives in the Congress of the United States shall be chosen by districts on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November in the year 1986, and every two (2) years thereafter. The laws regulating general elections shall apply to and govern elections for representatives in Congress; and the Governor shall issue a commission to the person elected in each district.

 

§ 23-15-1035. Qualifications of representatives in Congress.

Each congressional district shall be entitled to one (1) representative, who shall have attained the age of twenty-five (25) years, and been seven (7) years a citizen of the United States, and who shall, when elected, be an inhabitant of this state.

 

§ 23-15-1037. Division of state into five congressional districts.

(1) The State of Mississippi is hereby divided into five (5) congressional districts below:

FIRST DISTRICT. The First Congressional District shall be composed of the following counties and portions of counties:

Alcorn, Benton, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Choctaw, DeSoto, Itawamba, Lafayette, Lee, Marshall, Monroe, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Tate, Tippah, Tishomingo, Union, Webster, Yalobusha; in Grenada County the precincts of Providence, Mt. Nebo, Hardy and Pea Ridge; in Montgomery County the precincts of North Winona, Lodi, Stewart, Nations and Poplar Creek; in Oktibbeha County, the precincts of Double Springs, Maben and Sturgis; in Panola County the precincts of East Sardis, South Curtis, Tocowa, Pope, Courtland, Cole’s Point, North Springport, South Springport, Eureka, Williamson, East Batesville 4, West Batesville 4, Fern Hill, North Batesville A, East Batesville 5 and West Batesville 5; and in Tallahatchie County the precincts of Teasdale, Enid, Springhill, Charleston Beat 1, Charleston Beat 2, Charleston Beat 3, Paynes, Leverette, Cascilla, Murphreesboro and Rosebloom.

SECOND DISTRICT. The Second Congressional District shall be composed of the following counties and portions of counties:

Bolivar, Carroll, Claiborne, Coahoma, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Jefferson, Leflore, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tunica, Warren, Washington, Yazoo; in Attala County the precincts of Northeast, Hesterville, Possomneck, North Central, McAdams, Newport, Sallis and Southwest; that portion of Grenada County not included in the First Congressional District; in Hinds County Precincts 11, 12, 13, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30, 40, 41, 83, 84 and 85, and the precincts of Bolton, Brownsville, Cayuga, Chapel Hill, Cynthia, Edwards, Learned, Pine Haven, Pocahontas, St. Thomas, Tinnin, Utica 1 and Utica 2; in Leake County the precincts of Conway, West Carthage, Wiggins, Thomastown and Ofahoma; in Madison County the precincts of Farmhaven, Canton Precinct 2, Canton Precinct 3, Cameron Street, Canton Precinct 6, Bear Creek, Gluckstadt, Smith School, Magnolia Heights, Flora, Virlilia, Canton Precinct 5, Cameron, Couparle, Camden, Sharon, Canton Precinct 1 and Canton Precinct 4; that portion of Montgomery County not included in the First Congressional District; that portion of Panola County not included in the First Congressional District; and that portion of Tallahatchie County not included in the First Congressional District.

THIRD DISTRICT. The Third Congressional District shall be composed of the following counties and portions of counties:

Clarke, Clay, Jasper, Kemper, Lauderdale, Lowndes, Neshoba, Newton, Noxubee, Rankin, Scott, Smith, Winston; that portion of Attala County not included in the Second Congressional District; in Jones County the precincts of Northwest High School, Shady Grove, Sharon, Erata, Glade, Myrick School, Northeast High School, Rustin, Sandersville Civic Center, Tuckers, Antioch and Landrum; that portion of Leake County not included in the Second Congressional District; that portion of Madison County not included in the Second Congressional District; that portion of Oktibbeha County not included in the First Congressional District; and in Wayne County the precincts of Big Rock, Yellow Creek, Hiwannee, Diamond, Chaparral, Matherville, Coit and Eucutta.

FOURTH DISTRICT. The Fourth Congressional District shall be composed of the following counties and portions of counties:

Adams, Amite, Copiah, Covington, Franklin, Jefferson Davis, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marion, Pike, Simpson, Walthall, Wilkinson; that portion of Hinds County not included in the Second Congressional District; and that portion of Jones county not included in the Third Congressional District.

FIFTH DISTRICT. The Fifth Congressional District shall be composed of the following counties and portions of counties:

Forrest, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Lamar, Pearl River, Perry, Stone; and that portion of Wayne County not included in the Third Congressional District.

(2) The boundaries of the congressional districts described in subsection (1) of this section shall be the boundaries of the counties and precincts listed in subsection (1) as such boundaries existed on October 1, 1990.

 

§ 23-15-1039. Election of representatives in Congress in event of change in number of representatives to which state is entitled.

Should an election of representatives in Congress occur after the number of representatives to which the state is entitled changes, and before the districts have changed to conform to the new apportionment, representatives shall be chosen as follows: If the number of representatives is increased, then one (1) member shall be chosen in each district as organized, and the additional member or members shall be chosen by the electors of the state at large; and if the number of representatives is decreased, then the whole number shall be chosen by the electors of the state at large.

 

§ 23-15-1041. Election of U.S. Senators by qualified electors of Mississippi; issuance of commissions by Governor.

There shall be elected, by the qualified electors of Mississippi, one (1) United States Senator at the same time and in the same manner that members of the lower house of Congress are elected in 1988, and every six (6) years thereafter; and in the same manner there shall be one (1) United States Senator elected at the congressional election in 1990, and every six (6) years thereafter; and the person elected shall be commissioned by the Governor.

 

ARTICLE 35. POLITICAL PARTIES

§ 23-15-1051. Performance of duties by State Executive Committee; qualification of candidates with State Executive Committee.

All duties in regard to senatorial or other districts of more than one (1) county shall be performed by the State Executive Committee. All candidates for any such office shall qualify with the State Executive Committee in the time and manner established by law.

 

§ 23-15-1053. Methods and procedures for selection of county and state executive committees.

Subject to federal law and national party rules, the State Executive Committee of each political party shall determine the method and procedures for the selection of county executive committees and the State Executive Committees. The State Executive Committee of the political party shall establish procedures for the selection of county and State Executive Committees at least ninety (90) days before the implementation of the procedures. A copy of any rule or regulation adopted by the State Executive Committee shall be sent to the Secretary of State within seven (7) days after its adoption to become a public record.

 

§ 23-15-1054. Methods and procedures for selection of temporary county executive committee.

(1) If there be any political party or parties in any county without a party executive committee, such political party or parties shall select qualified electors of that county and of that party’s political faith to serve on a temporary county executive committee until members of a county executive committee are elected at the next regular election for executive committees. The selection of qualified electors to serve on the temporary county executive committee shall occur thirty (30) days before the date for which a candidate for a county office is required to qualify. The temporary county executive committee shall be selected in the following manner: Upon petition of five (5) or more members of that political faith, the chair of the State Executive Committee desiring to select a temporary county executive committee shall call a mass meeting of the qualified electors of their political faith who reside in the county to meet at some convenient place within the county, at a time to be designated in the call. At the mass convention, the members of that political faith shall select a temporary county executive committee. The temporary county executive committee shall serve until members of a county executive committee are elected at the next regular election for executive committees. The public shall be given notice of the mass meeting as provided in subsection (4) of this section. The chair of the State Executive Committee shall authorize the call within five (5) calendar days of receipt of the petition. If the chair of the State Executive Committee is either incapacitated, unavailable or nonresponsive and does not authorize the mass call within five (5) calendar days of receipt of the petition, any elected officer of the State Executive Committee may authorize the call within five (5) calendar days. If no elected officer of the State Executive Committee acts to approve such petition after an additional five (5) calendar days the petitioners shall be authorized to produce the call.
(2) If no county executive committee is selected or otherwise formed before an election, the State Executive Committee may serve as the temporary county executive committee and exercise all of the duties of the county executive committee for the county election. After a State Executive Committee has fulfilled its duties as the temporary county executive committee, it shall select a county executive committee before the next county election.
(3) A person convicted of a felony in a court of this state, any other state, or of the United States shall be barred from serving as a member of a county executive committee.
(4) The State Executive Committee shall publish a copy of its call for a meeting in some newspaper published in the affected county for three (3) weeks before the date set for the mass convention. If no newspaper is published in the county, then a copy of the call shall be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the county and by posting notices in three (3) public places in the county, one (1) of which shall be the county courthouse or the location where the county board of supervisors meets to conduct business. The publication shall occur not less than three (3) weeks before the date for the mass convention.

 

§ 23-15-1055. Methods and procedures for selection of delegates and delegate alternates to national nominating conventions.

The state executive committee of each political party shall determine the method and procedures by which delegates and delegate alternates to the national nominating conventions are to be selected as well as adopt any other rule not inconsistent with this chapter. The state executive committee of the political party shall establish, at least ninety (90) days prior to the second Tuesday in March in years in which a presidential election is held, procedures to be followed in the nomination of candidates for delegates and delegate alternates to the nominating convention of the political party. A copy of any rule or regulation adopted by the state executive committee shall be sent to the Secretary of State within seven (7) days after its adoption to become a public record.

 

§ 23-15-1057. Reconvening of state convention; delegates, notice, and power and authority.

(1) In the event sufficient cause should arise, and a majority of the membership of the State Executive Committee deems it necessary for the best interest of the political party and the state, the State Executive Committee is authorized to reconvene the state convention that selected them as members of the State Executive Committee at any time after the adjournment of the convention, but not later than the last day of the year in which the convention was held.
(2) The delegates chosen from the respective counties to a state convention in accordance with Section 23-15-1055 shall continue to be delegates from the county to the convention for a period not later than the last day of the year in which the convention was held.
(3) A convention may be reconvened upon the call of the chair of the State Executive Committee only with the approval of a majority of the State Executive Committee. At least ten
(10) days notice shall be given by the chair of the State Executive Committee of the reconvening of the state convention. The notice shall be given by publication of the call of the chair in any newspaper or newspapers having general circulation throughout the state.
(4) In the event a state convention is reconvened as provided in this section, the state convention may exercise all the power and authority conferred upon the convention by Section 23-15-1055, and may revise or rescind any action taken at its previous regular session.

 

§ 23-15-1059. Registration on behalf of state executive committees.

(1) The chair or secretary of the State Executive Committee of each political party chosen as provided in Section 23-15-1053 shall register the name of the political party it represents, and the names of all organizations officially sanctioned by the political party, with the Secretary of State within thirty (30) days after the political party is organized. Thereafter, no political party shall use or register any name that is the same as or deceptively similar to the name of a political party or officially sanctioned organization that has already been registered with the Secretary of State by any other political party. No political party or officially sanctioned organization shall use any name in any campaign literature listing or describing its candidates that does not correspond with the name of the political party or officially sanctioned organization registered with the Secretary of State.
(2) The chair or secretary of the State Executive Committee of a political party shall update the registration of the name of the political party it represents and the names of all organizations officially sanctioned by the political party with the Secretary of State on an annual basis, disclosing any revisions or additions to the information to be provided by affidavit in accordance with Section 25-15-1061.

 

§ 23-15-1061. Affidavit to accompany applications for registration; registration on behalf of district and county executive committees; proof of compliance with laws.

(1) The application for registration of the political party and any officially sanctioned organizations named to be presented to the Secretary of State shall be accompanied by an affidavit of the chair or secretary of the political party seeking the registration. The affidavit shall contain a list of the names of the members of the State Executive Committee, showing the chair and secretary, the names of the national committeeman and committeewoman, and the officers of the party, setting forth that the executive committee and other officers of the party have been elected in accordance with the provisions of Section 23-15-1053, or any laws supplementary or amendatory thereof. The Secretary of State is authorized to require further proof as to the compliance with the provisions of Section 23-15-1053 when it is reasonable to do so.
(2) The chair or secretary of the district and county executive committees of each political party, chosen as provided in Section 23-15-1053, shall register the name of the political party it represents with the chair or secretary of the State Executive Committee of that political party within thirty (30) days after December 31, 2017. The application for registration shall be accompanied by an affidavit of the chair or secretary of the party seeking such registration listing the names of the members of the district executive committee and of the State Executive Committee, showing the chair and secretary and other officers of the party, setting forth that the executive committee of the party has been elected in accordance with the provisions of Section 23-15-1053, or any laws supplementary or amendatory thereof. The chair or the secretary of the State Executive Committee is authorized to require further proof of compliance with the provisions of Section 23-15-1053 when it is reasonable to do so. Thereafter, no political party shall use or register any name that is the same as or deceptively similar to the name of a political party or officially sanctioned organization that has already been registered with the chair or secretary of the State Executive Committee by any other political party. No political party or officially sanctioned organization shall use any name in any campaign literature listing or describing its candidates that does not correspond with the name of the political party or officially sanctioned organization registered with the secretary or chair of the State Executive Committee.

 

§ 23-15-1063. Prohibition against participation in elections or primaries by political parties not duly organized and registered.

No political party in the State of Mississippi shall conduct primaries or enter candidates in any election unless the party has been duly organized under the provisions of this chapter, and the name of the party has been registered as provided in this chapter.

 

§ 23-15-1065. Misrepresentation as to office in, or nomination by, political party; penalties.

A person shall be barred from participating in any primary election held by a political party if that person claims or represents himself or herself in any manner to be a member of any state, district or county executive committee of any political party in this state, or claims to be the national committeeman or national committeewoman or any other officer or representative of the political party without having been lawfully elected or chosen as such in the manner provided by the laws of this state, or by the political party in the manner provided by the laws of this state, or claims to be the nominee of any political party authorized by the laws of this state to hold primary elections and choose party nominees, when in fact such person has not been declared the nominee of such political party for such office by such political party operating under the laws of this state. Any person or persons who violate the provisions of this section, in addition to other measures or penalties provided by law, may be enjoined therefrom upon application to the courts by any person or persons, or any political party, official or representative of the political party aggrieved.

 

§ 23-15-1067. General prohibitions; injunctions.

It shall be unlawful for any person or group of persons to set up or establish any political party in this state except in the manner provided by the laws of this state, and it shall be unlawful for any person or group of persons not lawful members of a political party to use, attempt to use or to operate under the name of any other political party lawfully existing and operating under the laws of this state. Any person or persons violating this section, in addition to such other measures or penalties provided by law, may be enjoined therefrom upon application to the courts by any person, or persons, or any political party, official or representative of the political party aggrieved.

 

§ 23-15-1069. Provisions applicable to all registered political parties.

The provisions of Sections 23-15-771 and 23-15-1053 shall be applicable to all political parties registered pursuant to Sections 23-15-1059 and 23-15-1061.

 

ARTICLE 37. MISSISSIPPI PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE PRIMARY AND DELEGATE SELECTION

§ 23-15-1081. Presidential preference primaries; electors to vote in primary of only one party.

A presidential preference primary may be held on the second Tuesday in March of each year in which a President of the United States is to be elected. Each political party which has cast for its candidates for President and Vice President in the previous presidential election more than twenty percent (20%) of the total vote cast for President and Vice President in the state, may conduct a presidential preference primary. No elector shall vote in the primary of more than one (1) political party in the same presidential preference primary.

 

§ 23-15-1083. Presidential preference primaries and first congressional primaries to be held on same day; second congressional primaries to be held three weeks thereafter.

Beginning in 1988, as an alternative to the congressional primary election date set forth in Section 23-15-1031, when a political party elects to conduct a presidential preference primary, the first primary election for congressmen, and senators, if senators are to be elected, shall be held on the second Tuesday in March, and the second primary, when one is necessary, shall be held three (3) weeks thereafter, and the election shall be held in all districts of the state on the same day.

§ 23-15-1085. Notice of party’s intention to hold presidential preference primary; issuance of proclamation by Secretary of State.

The chairman of a party’s State Executive Committee shall notify the Secretary of State if the party intends to hold a presidential preference primary. The Secretary of State shall be notified prior to December 1 of the year preceding the year in which a presidential preference primary may be held pursuant to Section 23-15-1081. Upon such notification, the Secretary of State shall issue a proclamation setting every party’s congressional and senatorial primary elections that are to be held in the year in which the presidential preference primary is to be held on the date provided for in Section 23-15-1083. Once the Secretary of State has issued a proclamation pursuant to this section, the date of the congressional and senatorial primary elections shall not be changed.

§ 23-15-1087. Applicability of law regulating primary and general elections.

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the laws regulating primary and general elections shall in so far as practical apply to and govern presidential preference primary elections.

 

§ 23-15-1089. Candidates whose names shall be placed on ballot; announcement of names by Secretary of State.

The Secretary of State shall place the name of a candidate upon the presidential preference primary ballot when the Secretary of State shall have determined that such a candidate is qualified under Section 23-15-1093.
On or after January 15 immediately preceding a presidential preference primary election the Secretary of State shall publicly announce and distribute to the news media for publication a list of the candidates he intends to place on the ballot at the following presidential preference primary election. Following this announcement he shall not add candidates to his selection, and he shall not delete any candidate whose name appears on the announced list, unless the candidate dies or has withdrawn as a candidate as provided in this chapter.

 

§ 23-15-1091. Notification of candidates by Secretary of State.

When the Secretary of State places the name of a candidate on the ballot pursuant to Section 23-15-1093, he shall notify the candidate that his name will appear on the ballot of this state in the presidential preference primary election.
The secretary shall also notify the candidate that he may withdraw his name from the ballot by filing with the Secretary of State an affidavit pursuant to Section 23-15-1095 no later than the sixtieth day before that election.

§ 23-15-1093. Petition in support of candidacy; qualifying fee.

(1) Any person desiring to have his name placed on the presidential preference primary ballot shall pay a qualifying fee and file the petition or petitions as described in this section.
(2) The amount of the qualifying fee shall be Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00). Each independent candidate shall pay the qualifying fee to the Secretary of State. Each political party candidate shall pay the qualifying fee to the state executive committee of the appropriate political party.
(3) A candidate shall file a petition or petitions in support of his candidacy with the state executive committee of the appropriate political party or the Secretary of State, whichever is applicable, after January 1 of the year in which the presidential preference primary is to be held and before January 15 of that same year. To comply with this section, a candidate may file a petition or petitions signed by a total of not less than five hundred (500) qualified electors of the state, or petitions signed by not less than one hundred (100) qualified electors of each congressional district of the state, in which case there shall be a separate petition for each congressional district. The petitions shall be in such form as prescribed by the state executive committee or Secretary of State, whichever is applicable; provided, that there shall be a space for the county of residence of each signer next to the space provided for his signature. No signature may be counted as valid unless the county of residence of the signer is provided. Each petition shall contain an affirmation under the penalties of perjury that each signer is a qualified elector in his congressional district or in the state, as appropriate.

§ 23-15-1095. Withdrawal of candidate.

A candidate’s name shall be printed on the appropriate primary ballot unless he or she submits to the Secretary of State before the printing of the official sample ballot, an affidavit stating without qualification that he or she is not now and does not presently intend to become a candidate for the Office of President of the United States at the upcoming nominating convention of his or her political party. If a candidate withdraws pursuant to this section, the Secretary of State shall notify the state executive committee of the political party of such candidate that the candidate’s name will not be placed on the ballot.

 

§ 23-15-1097. Payment of expenses; compensation of election officials.

All expenses of the presidential preference primary election, which are authorized expenses, as provided by statute relating to primary or general elections, shall be paid in the same manner as provided by law. Compensation of election officials shall be limited to that which is authorized by statute.

 

ARTICLE 39. REPEAL OF PRIOR ELECTION LAWS

§ 23-15-1111. Repeal of laws in conflict with Chapter 15.

All election laws in conflict with the provisions of this chapter are hereby repealed.

 

CHAPTER 17 AMENDMENTS TO CONSTITUTION BY VOTER INITIATIVE

§ 23-17-1. Procedures by which qualified electors may initiate proposed amendments to the constitution.

(1) For purposes of this chapter, the following term shall have the meaning ascribed herein: “Measure” means an amendment to the Mississippi Constitution proposed by a petition of
qualified electors under Section 273, Mississippi Constitution of 1890.
(2) If any qualified elector of the state desires to initiate a proposed amendment to the Constitution of this state as authorized by subsections (3) through (13) of Section 273 of the Mississippi Constitution of 1890, he shall first file with the Secretary of State a typewritten copy of the proposed initiative measure, accompanied by an affidavit that the sponsor is a qualified elector of this state.
(3) The sponsor of an initiative shall identify in the text of the initiative the amount and source of revenue required to implement the initiative. If the initiative requires a reduction in any source of government revenue, or a reallocation of funding from currently funded programs, the sponsor shall identify in the text of the initiative the program or programs whose funding must be reduced or eliminated to implement the initiative.
(4) The person proposing the measure shall also include all the information required under Section 273, Mississippi Constitution of 1890.

 

§ 23-17-3. Time for filing petition; length of time petition remains valid.

The petition for a proposed initiative measure must be filed with the Secretary of State not less than ninety (90) days before the first day of the regular session of the Legislature at which it is to be submitted. A petition is valid for a period of twelve (12) months.

 

§ 23-17-5. Submission of proposed initiative to Attorney General; review; recommendations; certificate of review; filing of proposed initiative and certificate.

Upon receipt of any proposed initiative measure, the Secretary of State shall submit a copy of the proposed measure to the Attorney General and give notice to the person filing the proposed measure of such transmittal. Upon receipt of the measure, the Attorney General may confer with the person filing the proposed measure and shall within ten (10) working days from receipt thereof review the proposal for matters of form and style, and such matters of substantive import as may be agreeable to the person filing the proposed measure, and shall recommend such revision or alteration of the measure as may be deemed necessary and appropriate. The recommendations of the Attorney General shall be advisory only, and the person filing the proposed measure may accept or reject them in whole or in part. The Attorney General shall issue a certificate of review certifying that he has reviewed the measure for form and style and that the recommendations thereon, if any, have been communicated to the person filing the proposed measure, and such certificate shall issue whether or not the person filing the proposed measure accepts such recommendations. Within fifteen (15) working days after notification of submittal of the proposed initiative measure to the Attorney General, the person filing the proposed measure, if he desires to proceed with his sponsorship, shall file the measure together with the certificate of review with the Secretary of State for assignment of a serial number and the Secretary of State shall thereupon submit to the Attorney General a certified copy of the measure filed. Upon submitting the proposal to the Secretary of State for assignment of a serial number the Secretary of State shall refuse to make such assignment unless the proposal is accompanied by a certificate of review.

 

§ 23-17-7. Assignment of serial number; designation as “Initiative Measure No. .”

The Secretary of State shall give a serial number to each initiative measure, and forthwith transmit one (1) copy of the measure proposed bearing its serial number to the Attorney General. Thereafter, a measure shall be known and designated on all petitions, ballots and proceedings as “Initiative Measure No. .”

 

§ 23-17-8. Correction of certain nonsubstantive clerical or technical errors in the section number reference or designation of a proposed constitutional amendment.

When an amendment to the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 is proposed to the qualified electors of the state under the voter initiative procedure set forth in Section 23-17-1, et seq., the Secretary of State, with the approval of the Attorney General, may make a nonsubstantive clerical or technical correction in the section number reference or designation of the proposed amendment contained in an initiative measure, as may be appropriate or necessary in order to prevent the use of an existing section number or the possibility of the initiative being declared invalid only because of an error in the section number designation. Such a correction may be made at any time after the Attorney General’s certificate of review with regard to the initiative measure has been issued, and before the ballot for the initiative measure is printed. The provisions of this section do not authorize the Secretary of State to make any change other than a nonsubstantive correction in the section number reference or designation of the proposed amendment contained in the initiative measure.

§ 23-17-9. Formulation of ballot title and summary of initiative measure.

Within seven (7) calendar days after the receipt of an initiative measure, the Attorney General shall formulate and transmit to the Secretary of State a concise statement posed as a question and not to exceed twenty (20) words, bearing the serial number of the measure and a summary of the measure, not to exceed seventy-five (75) words, to follow the statement. The statement shall give a true and impartial statement of the purpose of the measure. Neither the statement nor the summary may intentionally be an argument, nor likely to create prejudice, either for or against the measure. Such concise statement shall constitute the ballot title. The ballot title formulated by the Attorney General shall be the ballot title of the measure unless changed on appeal. When practicable, the question posed by the ballot title shall be written in such a way that an affirmative answer to such question and an affirmative vote on the measure would result in a change in then current law, and a negative answer to the question and a negative vote on the measure would result in no change to then current law.

 

§ 23-17-11. Notice of ballot title and summary to initiator; publication of title and summary.

Upon the filing of the ballot title and summary for an initiative measure in his office, the Secretary of State shall forthwith notify by certified mail return receipt requested, the person proposing the measure and any other individuals who have made written request for such notification of the exact language of the ballot title. The Secretary of State shall publish the title and summary for an initiative measure within ten (10) days after filing such title and summary in a newspaper or newspapers of general circulation throughout the State of Mississippi.

 

§ 23-17-13. Procedure for appeal of title and summary.

If any person is dissatisfied with the ballot title or summary formulated by the Attorney General, he or she may, within five (5) days from the publications of the ballot title and summary by the office of the Secretary of State, appeal to the circuit court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County by petition setting forth the measure, the title or summary formulated by the Attorney General, and his or her objections to the ballot title or summary and requesting amendment of the title or summary by the court.
A copy of the petition on appeal together with a notice that an appeal has been taken shall be served upon the Secretary of State, upon the Attorney General and upon the person proposing the measure if the appeal is initiated by someone other than that person. Upon the filing of the petition on appeal or at the time to which the hearing may be adjourned by consent of the appellant, the court shall accord first priority to examining the proposed measure, the title or summary prepared by the Attorney General and the objections to that title or summary. The court may hear arguments, and, within ten (10) days, shall render its decision and file with the Secretary of State a certified copy of such ballot title or summary as it determines will meet the requirements of Section 23-17-9. The decision of the court shall be final.

 

§ 23-17-15. Filing of instrument establishing title and summary of measure; notice to initiator; title and summary to be used in all proceedings.

When the ballot title and summary are finally established, the Secretary of State shall file the instrument establishing it with the proposed measure and transmit a copy thereof by certified mail return receipt requested, to the person proposing the measure and to any other individuals who have made written request for such notification. Thereafter such ballot title shall be the title of the measure in all petitions, ballots and other proceedings in relation thereto. The summary shall appear on all petitions directly following the ballot title.

 

§ 23-17-17. Initiator of measure to print blank petitions; form of petitions.

(1) The person proposing an initiative measure shall print blank petitions upon single sheets of paper of good writing quality not less than eight and one-half (8 1/2) inches in width and not less than fourteen (14) inches in length. Each sheet shall have a full, true and correct copy of the proposed measure referred to therein printed on the reverse side of the petition or attached thereto.
(2) Only a person who is a qualified elector of this state may circulate a petition or obtain signatures on a petition.

 

§ 23-17-19. Secretary of State to design petitions; form of petitions.

The Secretary of State shall design the form each sheet of which shall contain the following:

“WARNING

EVERY PERSON WHO SIGNS THIS PETITION WITH ANY OTHER THAN HIS OR HER TRUE NAME, KNOWINGLY SIGNS MORE THAN ONE OF THESE PETITIONS RELATING TO THE SAME INITIATIVE MEASURE, SIGNS THIS PETITION WHEN HE OR SHE IS NOT A QUALIFIED ELECTOR OR MAKES ANY FALSE STATEMENT ON THIS PETITION MAY BE PUNISHED BY FINE, IMPRISONMENT, OR BOTH.

PETITION FOR INITIATIVE MEASURE

To the Honorable __________, Secretary of State of the State of Mississippi:
We, the undersigned citizens and qualified electors of the State of Mississippi, respectfully direct that this petition and the proposed measure known as Initiative Measure No. _____, entitled (here insert the established ballot title of the measure), a full, true and correct copy of which is printed or attached on the reverse side of this petition, be transmitted to the Legislature of the State of Mississippi at its next ensuing regular session, and we respectfully petition the Legislature to adopt the proposed measure; and each of us for himself or herself says: I have personally signed this petition, I am a qualified elector of the State of Mississippi in the city (or town), county and congressional district written after my name, my residence address is correctly stated and I have knowingly signed this petition only once.”

Each sheet shall also provide adequate space for the following information: Petitioner’s signature; print name for positive identification; residence address, street and number, if any; city or town; county; precinct; and congressional district.

 

§ 23-17-21. Certification of petition by the circuit clerk; fee for filing petition.

Before a person may file a petition with the Secretary of State, the petition must be certified by the circuit clerk of each county in which the petition was circulated. The circuit clerk shall certify the signatures of qualified electors of that county and shall state the total number of qualified electors signing the petition in that county. The circuit clerk shall verify the name of each qualified elector signing on each petition. A circuit clerk may not receive any fee, salary or compensation from any private person or private legal entity for the clerk’s duties in certifying an initiative petition. When the person proposing any initiative measure has secured upon the petition a number of signatures of qualified electors equal to or exceeding the minimum number required by Section 273(3) of the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 for the proposed measure, and such signatures have been certified by the circuit clerks of the various counties, he may submit the petition to the Secretary of State for filing. The Secretary of State shall collect a fee of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) from the person filing the petition to pay part of the administrative and publication costs.

 

§ 23-17-23. Grounds for refusing to file initiative petition.

The Secretary of State shall refuse to file any initiative petition being submitted upon any of the following grounds:

(a) That the petition is not in the form required by Section 23-17-19;

(b) That the petition clearly bears insufficient signatures;
(c) That one or more signatures appearing on the petition were obtained in violation of Section 23-17-17(2), Section 23-17-57(2) or Section 23-17-57(3);
(d) That the time within which the petition may be filed has expired; or
(e) That the petition is not accompanied by the filing fee provided for in Section 23-17-21.

In case of such refusal, the Secretary of State shall endorse on the petition the word “submitted” and the date, and retain the petition pending appeal.
If none of the grounds for refusal exists, the Secretary of State shall accept and file the petition.

 

§ 23-17-25. Procedure to compel Secretary of State to file petition.

If the Secretary of State refuses to file an initiative petition when submitted to him for filing, the person submitting it for filing, within ten (10) days after his refusal, may apply to the Supreme Court for an order requiring the Secretary of State to bring the petition before the court and for a writ of mandamus to compel him to file it. The application shall be considered an emergency matter of public concern and shall be heard and determined with all convenient speed. If the Supreme Court decides that the petition is legal in form, apparently contains the requisite number of signatures of qualified electors, was filed within the time prescribed in the Constitution and was accompanied with the proper filing fee, it shall issue its mandate directing the Secretary of State to file the petition in his office as of the date of submission.

§ 23-17-27. Failure to appeal, or loss of appeal of, Secretary’s refusal to file petition.

If no appeal is taken from the refusal of the Secretary of State to file a petition within the time prescribed, or if an appeal is taken and the Secretary of State is not required to file the petition by the mandate of the Supreme Court, the Secretary of State shall destroy it.

§ 23-17-29. Filing petition with Legislature; adoption, amendment, or rejection of initiative; placement of initiative on ballot; approval of conflicting initiatives.

The Secretary of State shall file with the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate on the first day of the regular legislative session the complete text of each initiative for which a petition has been certified and filed with him. A constitutional initiative may be adopted or amended by a majority vote of each house of the Legislature. If the initiative is adopted, amended or rejected by the Legislature; or if no action is taken within four (4) months of the date that the initiative is filed with the Legislature, the Secretary of State shall place the initiative on the ballot for the next statewide general election. If the Legislature amends an initiative, the amended version and the original initiative shall be submitted to the electors. An initiative or legislative alternative must receive a majority of the votes thereon and not less than forty percent (40%) of the total votes cast at the election at which the measure was submitted to be approved. If conflicting initiatives or legislative alternatives are approved at the same election, the initiative or legislative alternative receiving the highest number of affirmative votes shall prevail.

 

§ 23-17-31. Procedure for rejection of measure and adoption of new measure by Legislature; designation of “Alternative Measure No. A”; fiscal analysis.

(1) Whenever the Legislature rejects a measure submitted to it by initiative petition and adopts an amendment to the measure proposed by initiative petition, then the Secretary of State shall give the measure adopted by the Legislature the same number as that borne by the initiative measure followed by the letter “A.” Such measure so designated as “Alternative Measure No.
A,” together with the ballot title thereof, when ascertained, shall be certified by the Secretary of State to the county election commissioners for printing on the ballots for submission to the voters for their approval or rejection at the next statewide general election.
(2) The chief legislative budget officer shall prepare a fiscal analysis of each initiative and each legislative alternative. A summary of each fiscal analysis shall appear on the ballot.

 

§ 23-17-33. Ballot title and summary for alternative measures.

For a measure designated by him as “Alternative Measure No. A,” the Secretary of State shall obtain from the Attorney General a ballot title in the manner provided by Section 23-17-9. The ballot title therefor shall be different from the ballot title of the measure in lieu of which it is proposed, and shall indicate, as clearly as possible, the essential differences in the measure.

 

§ 23-17-35. Form of initiative measure as appearing on ballot.

Except in the case of alternative voting on a measure initiated by petition, each measure submitted to the people for approval or rejection shall be so printed on the ballot, under the proper heading, that a voter can, by making one (1) choice, express his approval or rejection of such measure. Substantially the following form shall be a compliance with this section:

INITIATIVE MEASURE NO. _____

(Here insert the ballot title of the measure.)

YES ……………………………………………………… ( )
NO ………………………………………………………. ( )

 

§ 23-17-37. Voting for initiative when legislative alternative proposed; form of initiative measure and Legislative alternative as appearing on ballot.

If an initiative measure proposed to the Legislature has been rejected by the Legislature and an alternative measure is passed by the Legislature in lieu thereof, the serial numbers and ballot titles of both such measures shall be printed on the official ballots so that a voter can express separately two (2) preferences: First, by voting for the approval of either measure or against both measures, and, secondly, by voting for one measure or the other measure. If the majority of those voting on the first issue is against both measures, then both measures fail, but in that case the votes on the second issue nevertheless shall be carefully counted and made public. If a majority voting on the first issue is for the approval of either measure, then the measure receiving a majority of the votes on the second issue and also receiving not less than forty percent (40%) of the total votes cast at the election at which the measure was submitted for approval shall be law. Any person who votes against both measures on the first issue may vote but shall not be required to vote for any of the measures on the second issue in order for the ballot to be valid. Substantially the following form shall be a compliance with this section:

INITIATED BY PETITION AND ALTERNATIVE BY LEGISLATURE

Initiative Measure No. _____, entitled (here insert the ballot title of the initiative measure).

Alternative Measure No. _____ A, entitled  (here insert the ballot title of the alternative measure).

VOTE FOR APPROVAL OF EITHER, OR AGAINST BOTH:

FOR APPROVAL OF EITHER Initiative No. _____
OR Alternative No. _____ A …………………………………( )

AGAINST BOTH initiative No. _____

AND Alternative No. _____ A ………………………………..( )

AND VOTE FOR ONE:

FOR Initiative Measure No. _____……………………………( )
FOR Alternative Measure No. _____ A …………………………( )

 

§ 23-17-39. Limit of how many initiative proposals may be submitted to voters on single ballot.

No more than five (5) initiative proposals shall be submitted to the voters on a single ballot, and the first five (5) initiative proposals submitted to the Secretary of State with sufficient petitions shall be the proposals which are submitted to the voters.

§ 23-17-41. Effective date of initiative which is approved.

An initiative approved by the electors shall take effect thirty (30) days from the date of the official declaration of the vote by the Secretary of State, unless the measure provides otherwise.

§ 23-17-43. Time limit for resubmitting initiative rejected by voters.

If any amendment to the Constitution proposed by initiative petition is rejected by a majority of the qualified electors voting thereon, no initiative petition proposing the same, or substantially the same, amendment shall be submitted to the electors for at least two (2) years after the date of the election on such amendment.

 

§ 23-17-45. Publication of initiatives and Legislative Alternatives; inclusion of arguments or explanation; public hearing; notice of hearing.

(1) A pamphlet containing a copy of all initiative measures and legislative alternatives, including the ballot title and ballot summary, arguments or explanations for and against each measure and alternative and the fiscal analysis prepared by the chief legislative budget officer shall be compiled by the Secretary of State. The sponsor may prepare the argument or explanation on the measure. If the sponsor does not prepare the argument or explanation, then the Secretary of State shall do so. Each argument or explanation shall not exceed three hundred (300) words. The Secretary of State shall publish the ballot title, ballot summary, full text of each measure and arguments or explanations for and against each measure and alternative once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks immediately preceding the election in at least one (1) newspaper of general circulation in each county of the state. The costs of such printing and publication shall be borne by the Secretary of State from funds appropriated by the Legislature.
(2) The Secretary of State shall conduct at least one (1) public hearing in each congressional district on each measure to be placed on the ballot and shall give public notice thereof at least thirty (30) days before a hearing.

 

§ 23-17-47. Definitions applicable to §§ 23-17-47 through 23-17-59.

For the purposes of Sections 23-17-47 through 23-17-59, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section:

(a) “Contribution” means any gift, subscription, loan, advance, money or anything of value made by a person or political committee for the purpose of influencing the passage or defeat of a measure on the ballot, for the purpose of obtaining signatures for the proposed ballot measures and attempting to place the proposed measure on the ballot, and for the purpose of opposing efforts to place a proposed measure on the ballot; but does not include noncompensated, nonreimbursed volunteer personal services.

(b) “Person” means any individual, family, firm, corporation, partnership, association or other legal entity.
(c) “Political committee” means any person, other than an individual, who receives contributions or makes expenditures for the purpose of influencing the passage or defeat of a measure on the ballot.
(d) “Expenditure” means any purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, gift of money or anything of value, made by any person or political committee for the purpose of influencing any balloted measure, for the purpose of obtaining signatures for a proposed ballot measure and attempting to place the proposed measure on the ballot, and for the purpose of opposing efforts to place a proposed measure on the ballot.

 

§ 23-17-49. Statement of organization of political committees; when to file; contents of statement; changes in statement.

(1) Each political committee shall file with the Secretary of State a statement of organization no later than ten (10) days after receipt of contributions aggregating in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00), or no later than ten (10) days after having made expenditures aggregating in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00).

(2) The statement of organization of a political committee must include:

(a) The name and address of the committee and all officers;
(b) Designation of a director of the committee and a custodian of books and accounts of the committee, who shall be designated treasurer; and
(c) A brief statement identifying the measure that the committee seeks to pass or defeat.
Any change in information previously submitted in a statement of organization shall be reported and filed within ten (10) days.

 

§ 23-17-51. Political committees and certain individuals to file financial reports; when to file; penalties.

(1) A political committee that either receives contributions or makes expenditures in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) shall file financial reports with the Secretary of State.
(2) An individual person who on his or her own behalf expends in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) for the purpose of influencing the passage or defeat of a measure shall file financial reports with the Secretary of State.
(3) The financial reports required in this section shall be filed monthly, not later than the tenth day of the month following the month being reported, after a political committee or an individual exceeds the contribution or expenditure limits. Financial reports must continue to be filed until all contributions and expenditures cease. In all cases a financial report shall be filed thirty (30) days following the election on a measure.

(4) Any person, who violates the provisions of this section, shall be subject to a fine as provided in Section 23-15-813.

 

§ 23-17-53. Content of financial reports.

A financial report of a political committee, or an individual person, as required by Section 23-17-51, shall contain the following information:

(a) The name, address and telephone number of the committee or individual person filing the statement.
(b) For a political committee:

(i) The total amount of contributions received during the period covered by the financial report;
(ii) The total amount of expenditures made during the period covered by the financial report;
(iii) The cumulative amount of those totals for each measure;
(iv) The balance of cash and cash equivalents on hand at the beginning and the end of the period covered by the financial report;
(v) The total amount of contributions received during the period covered by the financial report from persons who contributed Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) or less, and the cumulative amount of that total for each measure;
(vi) The total amount of contributions received during the period covered by the financial report from persons who contributed Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) or more, and the cumulative amount of that total for each measure; and
(vii) The name and street address of each person from whom a contribution(s) exceeding Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) was received during the period covered by the financial report, together with the amount contributed, the date of receipt, and the cumulative amount contributed by that person for each measure.

(c) For an individual person:

(i) The total amount of expenditures made during the period covered by the financial report;
(ii) The cumulative amount of that total for each measure; and
(iii) The name and street address of each person to whom expenditures totaling Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) or more were made, together with the amount of each separate expenditure to each person during the period covered by the financial report and the purpose of the expenditure.
(iv) The total amount of contributions received during the period covered by the financial report, the cumulative amount of that total for each measure, and the name and street address of each person who contributed more than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) and the amount contributed.

§ 23-17-55. Required distance from polling place for distributing or posting material concerning initiative measure.

It is unlawful for any person to distribute or post material in support of or in opposition to a measure within one hundred fifty (150) feet of any entrance to a polling place where the election is held.

 

§ 23-17-57. Unlawful to give or offer consideration to elector.

(1) It is unlawful for a person to give or offer any consideration to an elector to induce the elector to vote for or against a measure.
(2) It is unlawful for a person to give or offer any consideration to an elector to induce the elector to sign or not sign a petition for a measure.
(3) It is unlawful for any person that pays or compensates another person for circulating a petition or for obtaining signatures on a petition to base the pay or compensation on the number of petitions circulated or the number of signatures obtained.
(4) It is unlawful for any person to solicit signatures on any petition under this chapter within one hundred fifty (150) feet of any polling place on any election day.
(5) It is unlawful for any person who circulates or causes to be circulated an initiative petition to obtain or attempt to obtain a person’s signature (a) by intentionally misleading such person as to the substance or effect of the petition, or (b) by intentionally causing such person to be misled as to the substance or effect of the petition.

 

§ 23-17-59. Unlawful to interfere with or influence vote of elector.

It is unlawful for a person to interfere with or influence the vote of an elector on a measure by means of violence, threats, intimidation, enforcing the payment of a debt, bringing a suit or criminal prosecution, any threat or action affecting a person’s conditions of employment or other corrupt means.

 

§ 23-17-60. Removal of name from initiative petition due to fraud or coercion.

Any person who alleges that his or her signature on an initiative petition was obtained as the result of fraud or coercion, or that the person was intentionally misled as to the substance or effect of the petition, may have his or her signature removed from the initiative petition upon filing an affidavit to such effect with the Secretary of State anytime before the Secretary of State has accepted and filed the petition under Section 23-17-23.

 

§ 23-17-61. Penalties for violating §§ 23-17-49 through 23-17-59.

Any violation of Sections 23-17-49 through 23-17-59 is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year, or by a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment.