2007 Regular Session
To: Apportionment and Elections
By: Representative Moss, Cummings, Franks
AN ACT TO CREATE AN EARLY VOTING PILOT PROGRAM IN TISHOMINGO AND ALCORN COUNTIES; TO PROVIDE THE PROCEDURES FOR EARLY VOTING IN SUCH COUNTIES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) There is established an Early Voting Pilot Program in Tishomingo and Alcorn Counties.
(2) (a) A qualified elector in such counties may vote early in the office of the county registrar or a location designated by the registrar not more than twenty-five (25) days nor less than four (4) days before the day of an election. No excuse is required for early voting. Any vote cast by early ballot shall be final. The name of any person who votes by early ballot shall be shown as voted in the pollbook before the day of election.
(b) A qualified elector in such counties who desires to vote by absentee ballot shall only do so by mail. No person may vote absentee in the registrar's office.
(3) (a) Early voting shall be conducted during the following times:
(i) Weekdays from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
(ii) Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon.
(iii) The registrar's office shall be closed on the Saturday before each election.
(b) Notice of the office hours shall be given by the registrar not less than five (5) days before the first day of early voting by publication in a newspaper of general circulation.
(c) The registrar shall staff any personnel necessary to carry out the provisions of this pilot program.
(4) (a) The registrar shall place the names of all candidates and issues for election on a voting machine, electronic voting system, optical mark reading equipment or direct recording electronic voting equipment which shall comply with the specifications provided by law. All early voting ballots shall be placed on a voting machine, electronic voting system, optical mark reading equipment or direct recording electronic voting equipment which shall comply with the specifications provided by law. The county election commissioner shall secure each voting machine used in early voting to prohibit tampering and shall also provide maximum security that allows no other person, except for persons designated by the election commission to have access to the room or facility in which the voting machines, ballots and other election equipment are stored.
(b) No single direct recording electronic (DRE) voting system may have more than nine thousand nine hundred ninety-nine (9,999) voters using a single machine during the early voting period.
(5) In the event a qualified elector appears to vote but such person's name does not appear upon the pollbook, 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 has been illegally denied registration, such person shall vote by affidavit ballot. The registrar shall follow the procedure established for affidavit ballot provided in Section 23-15-573.
(6) Any person voting early is entitled to the same
assistance during the early voting period that such person would be entitled as otherwise provided by law.
(7) The results of votes cast during early voting shall be announced simultaneously with the votes cast on election day.
(8) Each candidate shall have the same rights to be present at voting locations and to challenge the qualifications of any person offering to vote in the same manner as provided by law.
(9) The Secretary of State's office shall provide the circuit clerk for such counties with a database that contains the names of all registered voters within those counties at least fifty-five (55) days before an election.
(10) Except as otherwise provided in this act for the Early Voting Pilot Program, election procedures as otherwise provided by law shall govern the election procedures during early voting in these counties.
(11) This section shall stand repealed on June 30, 2011.
SECTION 2. The Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall submit this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United States or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.