ELECTIONS AND VOTING
Mississippi Voter Elections Information
Party candidates are nominated through primary elections. A voter may vote in either party’s primary, and cast a ballot for that party’s nominees to the general election. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes in a primary, a run-off is held between the top two vote-getters.
A voter who votes in the primary of one party may not “crossover” to vote in the run-off of another party.
By law, primary elections are run by each political party’s county or municipal executive committee with oversight from the state party executive committees. Circuit and Municipal Clerks also provide support.
Candidates are elected to office in general elections. The general election ballot contains the names of the party nominees, plus any independent or third party candidates who have qualified. For most elective offices, the candidate who receives the highest number of votes is elected. Offices in which candidates do not run in party primaries (most judicial offices, county election commissioner, some others) require a run-off if no candidate receives a majority vote in the general election.
By law, general elections are run by county or municipal Election Commissioners with limited oversight from the State Board of Election Commissioners. Circuit and Municipal Clerks also provide support.
Municipal Voting Information
Below are links and information on local city governments
City of Bay St. Louis
City of Bay St. Louis Voter Registrar, Sissy Gonzales
688 Highway 90 Bay St. Louis, MS 39520
City of Diamondhead
City of Diamondhead Voter Registrar, Jeannie Klein
5000 Diamondhead Circle Diamondhead, MS 39525
City of Waveland
City of Waveland Voter Registrar, Tammy Fayard
301 Coleman Avenue Waveland, MS 39576
Voter Registration Information
You may register to vote either online, mail or by visiting the Circuit Clerk’s office or the municipal clerk’s office. You may also register to vote when applying for or renewing your driver’s license, or when applying for services at numerous state and federal government agencies.
|Every U.S. citizen who possesses the following qualifications is entitled to register to vote in Mississippi:
Once you are registered, you generally remain registered indefinitely, unless you move or no longer meet one of the qualifications to vote.
Registering by Mail
If you are unable to visit the locations aforementioned, you may call the Circuit Clerk’s Office to request an application to register to vote by mail.
The Hancock County Circuit Clerk’s mailing address is:
Circuit Clerk of Hancock County
152 Main Street, Suite B
Bay St. Louis, MS 39520
|If you register in the Circuit Clerk’s Office – You must register at least 30 days before an election. If you register by mail – Your application must be postmarked at least 30 days before an election.|
Changing your name and/or address
|If you have a name change, you will need to complete a voter registration form:
If you have moved from one address in Hancock County to another address in Hancock County, you will need to complete a voter registration form:
To be eligible to vote in your new precinct or under your new name, you must change your record no later than 30 days prior to the election.
Where to Vote
Once your voter registration has been processed in the Circuit Clerk’s Office, you will be mailed a voter
registration card which will give your voting precinct, precinct location address, Supervisor’s District number,
and Congressional District number.
To location your polling place, simply follow the links to the Secretary of State’s website here
Some registered voters are eligible to vote absentee because of age, health or work demands, or their affiliation with the U.S. armed forces.
Absentee voting deadlines come early to help assure your ballot is counted. If you know you will vote absentee, contact your Circuit or Municipal Clerk at least 45 days before the election.
Eligible Absentee Voters include any duly qualified and registered elector who will be absent from their county of residence on Election Day or any of the following individuals who may not be present on Election Day:
- Any enlisted or commissioned members of the US armed forces who are citizens of Mississippi.
- Any member of the Merchant Marine or American Red Cross who is a citizen of Mississippi.
- Any disabled war veteran who is a patient in any hospital, who is a citizen of Mississippi.
- Any civilian attached to and serving outside of the US with any branch of the Armed Forces or with the Merchant Marine or American Red Cross, who is a citizen of Mississippi.
- Any citizen of Mississippi temporarily residing outside the territorial limits of the US and the District of Columbia.
- An employee engaged in interstate transportation required to be away from his or her county of residence on Election Day due to employment
- An employee, businessperson, professional, tradesman or worker required being over 50 miles away from the county of residence on Election Day due to employment.
- Anyone with a temporary or permanent physical disability.
- Anyone 65 years of age or older.
- A parent, spouse or dependent staying with a hospitalized person with a temporary or permanent disability and is 50 miles or more away from his or her county of residence on Election Day.
- A member of a congressional delegation required to be over 50 miles away from his or her county of residence on Election Day.
If any person declares that he is a registered voter in the jurisdiction in which he offers to vote and that he is eligible to vote in the election, but his name does not appear upon the pollbooks, or that he is not able to cast a regular election day ballot under a provision of state or federal law but is otherwise qualified to vote, or that he has been illegally denied registration:
A poll manager shall notify the person that he may cast an affidavit ballot at the election. The person shall be permitted to cast an affidavit ballot at the polling place upon execution of a written affidavit before one (1) of the managers of election stating that the individual:
Believes he is a registered voter in the jurisdiction in which he desires to vote and is eligible to vote in the election; or Is not able to cast a regular election day ballot under a provision of state or federal law but is otherwise qualified to vote; or believes that he has been illegally denied registration.
The manager shall allow the individual to prepare his vote which shall be delivered by him to the proper election official who shall enclose it in an envelope with the written affidavit of the voter, seal the envelope and mark plainly upon it the name of the person offering to vote.
The affidavit shall include:
- The complete name, all required addresses and telephone numbers
- A statement that the affiant believes he is registered to vote in the jurisdiction in which he offers to vote
- The signature of the affiant; and the signature of a poll manager at the precinct at which the affiant offers to vote.
A separate register shall be maintained for affidavit ballots and the affiant shall sign the register upon completing the affidavit ballot. In canvassing the returns of the election, the executive committee in primary elections, or the election commissioners in other elections, shall examine the records and allow the ballot to be counted, or not counted as it appears legal.
When a person is offered the opportunity to vote by affidavit ballot, he shall be provided with written information that informs the person how to ascertain whether his affidavit ballot was counted and, if the vote was not counted, the reasons the vote was not counted.
The Secretary of State shall, by rule duly adopted, establish a uniform affidavit and affidavit ballot envelope which shall be used in all elections in this state. The Secretary of State shall print and distribute a sufficient number of affidavits and affidavit ballot envelopes to the registrar of each county for use in elections. The registrar shall distribute the affidavits and affidavit ballot envelopes to municipal and county executive committees for use in primary elections and to municipal and county election commissioners for use in other elections.
County registrars and municipal registrars shall implement a secure free access system that complies with the Help America Vote Act of 2002, by which persons who vote by affidavit ballot may determine if their ballots were counted, and if not, the reasons the ballot was not counted.
Any person who votes in any election as a result of a federal or state court order or other order extending the time established by law for closing the polls, may only vote by affidavit ballot. Any affidavit ballot cast under this subsection shall be separated and kept apart from other affidavit ballots cast by voters not affected by the order.