Current through legislation becoming effective on or before April 22, 2021
Section 23-15-47 - Registering to vote by mail-in application(1) Any person who is qualified to register to vote in the State of Mississippi may register to vote by mail-in application in the manner prescribed in this section.(2) The following procedure shall be used in the registration of electors by mail: (a) Any qualified elector may register to vote by mailing or delivering a completed mail-in application to his or her county registrar at least thirty (30) days before any election; however, if the thirtieth day to register before an election falls on a Sunday or legal holiday, the registration applications submitted on the business day immediately following the Sunday or legal holiday shall be accepted and entered into the Statewide Elections Management System for the purpose of enabling voters to vote in the next election. The postmark date of a mailed application shall be the applicant's date of registration.(b) Upon receipt of a mail-in application, the county registrar shall stamp the application with the date of receipt, and shall verify the application either by matching the applicant's Mississippi driver's license number through the Mississippi Department of Public Safety or by matching the applicant's social security number through the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. Within fourteen (14) days of receipt of a mail-in registration application, the county registrar shall complete action on the application, including any attempts to notify the applicant of the status of his or her application.(c) If the county registrar determines that the applicant is qualified and his or her application is legible and complete, the county registrar shall mail the applicant written notification that the application has been approved, specifying the county voting precinct, municipal voting precinct, if any, polling place and supervisor district in which the person shall vote. This written notification of approval containing the specified information shall be the voter's registration card. The registration card shall be provided by the county registrar to the applicant in accordance with Section 23-15-39. Upon entry of the voter registration information into the Statewide Elections Management System, the system shall assign a voter registration number to the applicant. The assigned voter registration number shall be clearly shown on the written notification of approval. In mailing the written notification, the county registrar shall note the following on the envelope: "DO NOT FORWARD". If any registration notification form is returned as undeliverable, the voter's registration shall be void.(d) A mail-in application shall be rejected for any of the following reasons: (i) An incomplete portion of the application makes it impossible for the registrar to determine the eligibility of the applicant to register;(ii) A portion of the application is illegible in the opinion of the county registrar and makes it impossible to determine the eligibility of the applicant to register;(iii) The county registrar is unable to determine, from the address and information stated on the application, the precinct in which the voter should be assigned or the supervisor district in which he or she is entitled to vote;(iv) The applicant is not qualified to register to vote pursuant to Section 23-15-11;(v) The county registrar determines that the applicant is already registered as a qualified elector of the county;(vi) The county registrar is unable to verify the application pursuant to subsection (2)(b) of this section.(e) If the mail-in application of a person is subject to rejection for any of the reasons set forth in paragraph (d)(i) through (iii) of this subsection, and it appears to the county registrar that the defect or omission is of such a minor nature and that any necessary additional information may be supplied by the applicant over the telephone or by further correspondence, the county registrar may write or call the applicant at the telephone number or address, or both, provided on the application. If the county registrar is able to contact the applicant by mail or telephone, the county registrar shall attempt to ascertain the necessary information, and if this information is sufficient for the registrar to complete the application, the applicant shall be registered. If the necessary information cannot be obtained by mail or telephone, or is not sufficient to complete the application within fourteen (14) days of receipt, the county registrar shall give the applicant written notice of the rejection and provide the reason for the rejection. The county registrar shall further inform the applicant that he or she has a right to attempt to register by appearing in person or by filing another mail-in application.(f) If a mail-in application is subject to rejection for the reason stated in paragraph (d) (v) of this subsection and the "present home address" portion of the application is different from the residence address for the applicant found in the Statewide Elections Management System, the mail-in application shall be deemed a written request to update the voter's registration pursuant to Section 23-15-13. The county registrar or the election commissioners shall update the voter's residence address in the Statewide Elections Management System and, if necessary, advise the voter of a change in the location of his or her county or municipal polling place by mailing the voter a new voter registration card.(3) The instructions and the application form for voter registration by mail shall be in a form established by rule duly adopted by the Secretary of State.(4)(a) The Secretary of State shall prepare and furnish without charge the necessary forms for application for voter registration by mail to each county registrar, municipal clerk, all public schools, each private school that requests such applications, and all public libraries.(b) The Secretary of State shall distribute without charge sufficient forms for application for voter registration by mail to the Commissioner of Public Safety, who shall distribute the forms to each driver's license examining and renewal station in the state, and shall ensure that the forms are regularly available to the public at such stations.(c) Bulk quantities of forms for application for voter registration by mail shall be furnished by the Secretary of State to any person or organization. The Secretary of State shall charge a person or organization the actual cost he or she incurs in providing bulk quantities of forms for application for voter registration to such person or organization.(5) The originals of completed mail-in applications shall remain on file in the office of the county registrar with copies retained in the Statewide Elections Management System.(6) If the applicant indicates on the application that he or she resides within the city limits of a city or town in the county of registration, the county registrar shall enter the information into the Statewide Elections Management System.(7) If the applicant indicates on the application that he or she has previously registered to vote in another county of this state or another state, notice to the voter's previous county of registration in this state shall be provided through the Statewide Elections Management System. If the voter's previous place of registration was in another state, notice shall be provided to the voter's previous state of residence.(8) Any person who attempts to register to vote by mail shall be subject to the penalties for false registration provided for in Section 23-15-17.Laws, 1991, ch. 440, § 1; Laws, 1993, ch. 528, § 3; Laws, 1994, ch. 600, § 1; Laws, 2004, ch. 305, § 10; Laws, 2006, ch. 574, § 5, eff. 6/5/2006 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965).Amended by Laws, 2017, ch. 441, HB 467, 13, eff. 4/18/2017.