High absentee voting of concern to state officials

High absentee voting of concern to state officials

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - The man in charge of elections in Mississippi says absentee balloting has become early voting in the Magnolia state. And that's concerning to Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.

A statewide comparison of absentee ballots cast thus far in the Primary Election shows several counties have a high number of absentee ballots requested.

"High absentee ballots are always cause for concern with our Agency," Hosemann said. "Now that Mississippi has passed Voter ID, absentee balloting has the highest potential for fraud in our State."

Percentages are based on the total number of eligible voters to the total number of requested absentee ballots.  Typically, about five to six percent of votes cast during an election will be absentee ballots. For the upcoming August 4th primary, five counties have requested high levels of absentee ballots:

  • Noxubee - 13.66 percent
  • Quitman - 10.77 percent
  • Claiborne - 7.73 percent
  • Tallahatchie - 7.20 percent
  • Benton - 5.8 percent

Jackson County (0.22 percent) and Washington County (0.20 percent) have the lowest percentage of absentee ballots requested.

"More and more people are stating they will be 'out of the county' on Election Day to cast an absentee ballot," Hosemann said.  "Absentee balloting has become early voting in Mississippi.  As we have on prior occasions, we have requested some Circuit Clerks provide copies of all absentee ballots following the Primary Election."

In-person absentee balloting at the Circuit Clerk's Office ends this Saturday (August 1, 2015) at 12:00 pm.  Mail-in absentee ballots must be received by the Circuit Clerk's Office no later than 5:00 pm, Monday, August 3, 2015.

You can find a complete list of who is eligible to cast an absentee ballot on Election Day in the County Election Handbook available at www.sos.ms.gov.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.