Mississippi has some major elections coming up in 2018. Since the retirement of Senator Thad Cochran a special election for his seat will be held along with the election for Senator Roger Wicker’s seat. There is also a Third District Congressional race with a primary election in June and a runoff, if necessary, later that month.

In the meantime, former Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Cindy Hyde-Smith was appointed as U.S. Senator in place of Cochran. As of now, she will be running against Senator Chris McDaniel, Mike Espy, and Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton. However, Secretary Hosemann believes there will be more.

To qualify to be a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat a person must meet the following requirements: 

  • Each senator must be at least 30 years old
  • Must have been a citizen of the United States for at least the past nine years
  • Must be, at the time of the election, an inhabitant of the state they seek to represent. U.S. Const., Art. 1, § 3.

For the Special Elections (the Special Election to fill Sen. Cochran’s seat), candidates must submit the following:

  • Statement of Intent
  • Petition signed by not less than 1,000 registered voters of the state as verified by the county circuit clerks (candidates should keep petition pages separated by county)
  • $1,000 fee paid to the Secretary of State’s Office

For General Elections, candidates may qualify with party affiliation or as independent candidates. Candidates submit the following:

  • Party Candidates qualified with their respective party:
    • Statement of Intent
    • $1,000 paid to the party
  • Independent Candidates qualify with the Secretary of State’s office:
    • Statement of Intent
    • Petition signed by not less than 1,000 registered voters of the state as verified by the county circuit clerks (candidates should keep petition pages separated by county)
    • $1,000 paid to the Secretary of State

Secretary Hosemann talked about the importance of knowing when to vote and where you are registered to vote. You can check that information on the website sos.ms.gov/vote. The website will also let you change where you are currently registered, but does not allow for a new voter to register. That must be done through your circuit clerk.

The Secretary of State’s office is working hard to ensure that all Mississippians have the ability to vote, that includes our men and women serving overseas.

“One of the things our staff came up with is a card that is given to every service member sent overseas here. On the card is how to electronically vote. We in Mississippi are on the forefront of electronic voting,” said Secretary Hosemann.

Those men and women will be able to log on, get a ballot just like they were back home and their ballot will go to the precinct they would otherwise be voting in.

“On the card it has a little yellow ribbon to let them know that we know they’re away from their family but we don’t want them to have to be away from the ballot box,” said Secretary Hosemann.