Absentee balloting is on the rise in Mississippi, as indicated by an analysis by the Secretary of State’s Office of absentee ballot numbers since the 2007 Statewide General Election.

“What we are seeing is the use of absentee balloting as a form of early voting,” says Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. “The number of absentee ballots cast in Mississippi elections has steadily increased over the past few years, as more voters choose to cast their ballots in advance of Election Day.”

In the Analysis of Absentee Ballot Voting Trends, the Secretary of State’s Office found:
• More than 22 counties in the Primary Election and more than 13 counties in the General Election had more than 10% of total votes cast by absentee ballot;
• The majority of absentee ballots are cast inside the Circuit Clerk’s Office;
• The majority of voters who cast an absentee ballot by mail cited permanent or physical disability as the reason for casting a mail-in absentee ballot;
• The majority of voters who cast an absentee ballot inside the Circuit Clerk’s Office cited they would be outside of the county on Election Day; and,
• In some counties, the same individual(s) witnessed a high number of absentee ballots.

“Our Circuit Clerks are required by law to accept an absentee ballot for one of the twelve reasons allowed by State law,” says Secretary Hosemann. “I have long maintained Mississippi is overdue for absentee ballot reform. It is my hope this analysis will provide the impetus needed to facilitate that discussion.”

Report can be found at http://www.sos.ms.gov/links/elections/2011%20Absentee%20Ballot%20Report.pdf

SOS Delbert Hosemann Press Release