Absentee voting time frame will be limited ahead of run-off election

Absentee voting time frame will be limited ahead of run-off election

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The run-off election is now less than three weeks away, but some elected officials are reminding voters to start looking at the calendar now. The run-off lands on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

“The more people who vote, the better the government will be,” said state Senator David Blout-D.

But Senator Blount said there’s room for improvement in the state’s election laws, especially surrounding absentee voting.

The window for receiving and returning a ballot by mail could get complicated. That absentee voting, by the way, hasn’t officially started yet.

“The election is not certified yet," noted Blount. "The final vote has not been certified and the absentee ballot is not going to begin until that happens, and then the window is very tight.”

But Hinds County Circuit Clerks Zach Wallace has already had requests.

“As a matter of fact, right after the election Wednesday, I had people emailing me wanting to absentee vote for the runoff," said Wallace. "I had to tell them to check back with me.”

They’re reminding voters to have a plan of when they’ll vote, because offices won’t be open Thanksgiving or the day after, leaving a limited number of days to cast an in-person absentee ballot.

Blount would like college students to have the option to take a photo of their ID and prove that they’re a student and submit their absentee ballot electronically.

“The simple solution to that problem is to treat our college students like we already treat military and overseas Mississippians," explained Blount. "We eliminate the notary requirement and also what we should do for college students and all voters is to eliminate the application for a runoff election.”

Early voting is the other change Blount would like to see happen.

“37 states have early voting," described Blount. "Mississippians want early voting. If you want to vote early, you should be able to do that. We should do anything we can to encourage more people to participate in the process.”

Circuit clerks' offices around the state will be open the two Saturdays prior to the runoff election for in-person absentee voting. That’s November 17 and 24.

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