The high number of absentee ballots requested and returned completed through Wednesday morning point to “a record turnout for a midterm election,” Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said.
Republican Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann at the Capitol.
Hosemann, who met with the media in his Jackson office Wednesday to stress the importance of voting, said requests for absentee ballots are up across the state.
“Harrison and Jackson (counties) are up. The Delta is up. There doesn’t seem to be a geographic restriction to it,” said the Republican Hosemann, whose office oversees state elections.
He cited numbers showing that in the last mid-term in 2014 the number of absentee ballots requested totaled 25,395 compared to 50,571 during the same time period this year. The requests still fall far below a presidential year. In 2016, for example, voters requested 111,967 absentee ballots during the same time period.
Another indication of voter interest, Hosemann said, is new voter registrations compared to the last midterm year, in 2014.
Those numbers are:
2018 – 31,745
2016 – 49,446
2014 – 10,271.
Mississippi does not have no excuse early voting. But people who cannot get to the polls between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Election Day for reasons, including job commitments, being out of town or in the hospital, are allowed to vote early.
The deadline to vote absentee in person at the local circuit clerk’s office is noon Saturday. Mail-in ballots must be returned to the circuit clerk’s office by 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 5.
Mississippians will go to polls Tuesday to elect two U.S. senators. Incumbent Republican Roger Wicker is running against Democrat David Baria in the regularly scheduled election. Third party candidates – Danny Bedwell, a Libertarian, and Shawn O’Hara, Reform Party candidate — also will be on the ballot.
A special Senate election also is being conducted to fill the vacancy left by the