MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2007 Regular Session

To: Apportionment and Elections; County Affairs

By: Representative Cummings

House Bill 1309

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 23-15-635 AND 23-15-719, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE FORM OF ABSENTEE BALLOTS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

†††† BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

†††† SECTION 1.† Section 23-15-635, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

†††† 23-15-635.† (1)† The form of the elector's certificate, attesting witness certification and certificate of person providing voter assistance on the back of the envelope used by voters who do not use the registrar of their county of residence as an attesting witness shall be as follows:

ABSENTEE BALLOT FOR VOTERS NOT APPEARING

BEFORE THE CIRCUIT CLERK

"ELECTOR'S CERTIFICATE"

STATE OF ______________

COUNTY OR PARISH OF ______________

†††† I, __________, do solemnly swear that this envelope contains the ballot marked by me indicating my choice of the candidates or propositions to be submitted at the election to be held on the ______ day of __________, 2____, and I hereby authorize the registrar to place this envelope in the ballot box on my behalf, and I further authorize the election managers to open this envelope and place my ballot among the other ballots cast before such ballots are counted, and record my name on the poll list as if I were present in person and voted.

†††† I further swear that I marked the enclosed ballot in secret.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† _________________________

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Signature of voter)

CERTIFICATE OF ATTESTING WITNESS

†††† If you have obtained the enclosed ballot by reason of a temporary or permanent physical disability, you are not required to have the following certificate of attesting witness notarized, but it must be signed by a person eighteen (18) years of age or older.

NOTICE TO ATTESTING WITNESS:

READ CAREFULLY BEFORE COMPLETING.

†††† Complete and sign either (A) or (B), BUT NOT BOTH.† (A) should be completed only if the voter has not received assistance in marking the enclosed ballot.† (B) should be completed only if the voter has received assistance in marking the enclosed ballot.

CERTIFICATE OF ATTESTING WITNESS NOT

PROVIDING VOTER ASSISTANCE

(A)† (To be completed only if the voter has not received assistance in marking the enclosed ballot.)† Personally appeared before me, on this the _____ day of _________________________, 20____, the above-named voter, known by me to be the person named, who after being duly sworn or having affirmed, subscribed the foregoing oath or affirmation.† The said voter exhibited to me his blank ballot; that said ballot was not marked or voted before the said voter exhibited the ballot to me; that said voter then retired out of my presence, but within my sight, and voted his ballot so that I could not see how he voted; that no one was present with said voter as he marked his ballot; that the said voter was not solicited or advised by me to vote for any candidate, question or issue, and that the voter, after marking his ballot, placed it in the envelope, closed and sealed the envelope in my presence, and signed and swore or affirmed the above certificate.

______________________________†† _______________________________

Signature of attesting witness†† Printed name of attesting witness

______________________________†† ___† ________________________††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Address of attesting witness†† Official Title (if any)

______________________________†††

City and State†††††††††††††

CERTIFICATE OF ATTESTING WITNESS

ALSO PROVIDING VOTER ASSISTANCE

(B)† (To be completed only if the voter has received assistance in marking the enclosed ballot.)† Personally appeared before me, on this the _____ day of _________________________, 20____, the above-named voter, known by me to be the person named, who after being duly sworn or having affirmed, subscribed the foregoing oath or affirmation.† I hereby certify that the above-named voter declared to me that he or she is blind, temporarily or permanently physically disabled, or cannot read or write, and that the voter requested that I assist the voter in marking the enclosed absentee ballot.† The said voter was not solicited or advised by me to vote for any candidate, question or issue.† I hereby certify that the ballot preferences on the enclosed ballot are those communicated by the voter to me, and that I have marked the enclosed ballot in accordance with the voterís instructions.† After the ballot was marked, it was placed in the envelope, closed and sealed and signed and sworn or affirmed in my presence.

______________________________†† _________________________________

Signature of attesting witness†† Printed name of attesting witness

______________________________†† ______†††††††† _____________________†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Address of attesting witness†† Official Title (if any)

______________________________†† _________________________________

City and State†††††††††††††† †† Date and time assistance provided

Notice to Absent Elector: Ballots personally cast in the registrarís office must be cast not later than 12:00 noon on the Saturday immediately preceding election held on Tuesday, the Thursday immediately preceding elections held on Saturday, or the second day immediately preceding the date of elections held on other days. If mailed, the envelope and ballot must be received by 5:00 p.m. on the date preceding the election and immediately placed in the proper ballot box.

ABSENTEE BALLOT FOR PERSON HAVING

TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT PHYSICAL DISABILITIES

"ELECTORíS CERTIFICATE"

STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

COUNTY OR PARISH OF____________

†††† I, _______________________________________ do solemnly swear† that this envelope contains the ballot marked by me indicating my choice of the candidates or propositions to be submitted at the election to be held on the _______ day of ______________________, 20____, and I hereby authorize the registrar to place this envelope in the ballot box on my behalf, and I further authorize the election managers to open this envelope and place my ballot among the other ballots cast before such ballots are counted, and record my name on the poll list as if I were present in person and voted.

†††† I further swear that I marked the enclosed ballot in secret.

_________________________

(Signature of Voter)

CERTIFICATE OF ATTESTING WITNESS

†††† If you have obtained the enclosed ballot by reason of a temporary or permanent physical disability, you are not required to have the following certificate of attesting witness notarized, but it must be signed by a person eighteen (18) years of age or older.

Notice to Attesting Witness:† READ CAREFULLY BEFORE COMPLETING.†† Complete and sign either (A) or (B), BUT NOT BOTH.† (A) should be completed only if the voter has not received assistance in marking the enclosed ballot.† (B) should be completed only if the voter has received assistance in marking the enclosed ballot.

CERTIFICATE OF ATTESTING WITNESS NOT

PROVIDING VOTER ASSISTANCE

(A)† (To be completed only if the voter has not received assistance in marking the enclosed ballot.) Personally appeared before me, on this the _____ day of _________________________, 20____, the above-named voter, known by me to be the person named, who after being duly sworn or having affirmed, subscribed the foregoing oath or affirmation. The said voter exhibited to me his blank ballot; that said ballot was not marked or voted before the said voter exhibited the ballot to me; that said voter then retired out of my presence, but within my sight, and voted his ballot so that I could not see how he voted; that no one was present with said voter as he marked his ballot; that the said voter was not solicited or advised by me to vote for any candidate, question or issue, and that the voter, after marking his ballot, placed it in the envelope, closed and sealed the envelope in my presence, and signed and swore or affirmed the above certificate.

________________________ _____†________________________________

Signature of attesting witnessPrinted name of attesting witness

_______________________________________________________________†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Address of attesting witness††† Official Title (if any)

______________________________

City and State†††††††††††††

CERTIFICATE OF ATTESTING WITNESS

ALSO PROVIDING VOTER ASSISTANCE

(B)† (To be completed only if the voter has received assistance in marking the enclosed ballot.) Personally appeared before me, on this the _____ day of _________________________, 20____, the above-named voter, known by me to be the person named, who after being duly sworn or having affirmed, subscribed the foregoing oath or affirmation.† I hereby certify that the above-named voter declared to me that he or she is blind, temporarily or permanently physically disabled, or cannot read or write, and that the voter requested that I assist the voter in marking the enclosed absentee ballot.† The said voter was not solicited or advised by me to vote for any candidate, question or issue.† I hereby certify that the ballot preferences on the enclosed ballot are those communicated by the voter to me, and that I have marked the enclosed ballot in accordance with the voterís instructions.† After the ballot was marked, it was placed in the envelope, closed and sealed and signed and sworn or affirmed in my presence.

_____________________________ †††_______________________________

Signature of attesting witness†† Printed name of attesting witness

______________________________†† _________________________________†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Address of attesting witness†††† Official Title (if any)

_____________________________†††† †† _________________________________

City and State†††††††††††††† †† Date and time assistance provided

Notice to Absent Elector:† Ballots personally cast in the registrarís office must be cast not later than 12:00 noon on the Saturday immediately preceding election held on Tuesday, the Thursday immediately preceding elections held on Saturday, or the second day immediately preceding the date of elections held on other days.† If mailed, the envelope and ballot must be received by 5:00 p.m. on the date preceding the election and immediately placed in the proper ballot box.

†††† (2)† The envelope used pursuant to this section shall not contain the form prescribed pursuant to Section 23-15-719.

†††† SECTION 2.† Section 23-15-719, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

†††† 23-15-719.† (1)† Immediately upon completion of an application filed pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (a) of Section 23-15-715, the registrar shall deliver the necessary ballots to the applicant.† The registrar shall only deliver the ballots to the applicant by mail or to the applicant in the registrar's office.† The registrar shall not personally hand deliver ballots to voters, unless he delivers the ballots in the office of the registrar.† The elector shall fill in his ballot in secret.† After the applicant has properly marked the ballot and properly folded it, he shall deposit it in the envelope furnished him by the registrar.

†††† After he has sealed the envelope, he shall subscribe and swear to an affidavit in the following form, which shall be printed on the back of the envelope containing the applicant's ballot:

ABSENTEE BALLOT FOR VOTERS APPEARING

BEFORE THE CIRCUIT CLERK

"VOTERíS AFFIDAVIT"

STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

COUNTY OF ___________

†††† I, _______________________________________ do solemnly swear† that this envelope contains the ballot marked by me indicating my choice of the candidates or propositions to be submitted at the election to be held on the _______ day of ______________________, 20____, and I hereby authorize the registrar to place this envelope in the ballot box on my behalf, and I further authorize the election managers to open this envelope and place my ballot among the other ballots cast before such ballots are counted, and record my name on the poll list as if I were present in person and voted.

†††† I further swear that I marked the enclosed ballot in secret.

_____________________________

(Signature of Voter)

†††† SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED before me,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† this the _________ day of _____________________________, 20_____.

________________________________

(Registrar)†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

CERTIFICATE OF PERSON PROVIDING VOTER ASSISTANCE

†††† (To be completed only if the voter has received assistance in marking the enclosed ballot).† I hereby certify that the above-named voter declared to me that he or she is blind, temporarily or permanently physically disabled, or cannot read or write, and that the voter requested that I assist the voter in marking the enclosed absentee ballot.† I hereby certify that the ballot preferences on the enclosed ballot are those communicated by the voter to me, and that I have marked the enclosed ballot in accordance with the voterís instructions.

__________________________________________

Signature of person providing assistance

__________________________________________

Printed name of person providing assistance

__________________________________________

Address of person providing assistance

__________________________________________

Date and time assistance provided†

__________________________________________

Family relationship to voter (if any)

Notice to Absent Elector:† Ballots personally cast in the registrarís office must be cast not later than 12:00 noon on the Saturday immediately preceding elections held on Tuesday, the Thursday immediately preceding elections held on Saturday, or the second day immediately preceding the date of elections held on other days.

†††† (3)† The envelope used pursuant to this section shall not contain the form prescribed by Section 23-15-635.

†††† SECTION 3.† 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 4.† 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.