2021 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Simmons (12th), Norwood
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE A QUALIFIED ELECTOR TO VOTE NOT MORE THAN 20 DAYS NOR LESS THAN TWO DAYS BEFORE THE DATE OF AN ELECTION; TO PROVIDE THAT PREELECTION VOTING MAY BE CONDUCTED IN THE REGISTRAR'S OFFICE; TO REQUIRE A PERSON WHO DESIRES TO VOTE DURING THE PREELECTION DAY VOTING PERIOD TO APPEAR AT THE REGISTRAR'S OFFICE AND TO PROVIDE THAT AFTER SIGNING THE RECEIPT BOOK SUCH PERSON SHALL BE ENTITLED TO VOTE AT THE REGISTRAR'S OFFICE IN THE SAME MANNER AS HE WOULD AT HIS VOTING PRECINCT ON THE DAY OF THE ELECTION; TO PROVIDE THAT THE ELECTION LAWS THAT GOVERN PROCEDURES FOR A PERSON WHO APPEARS TO VOTE ON THE DAY OF ELECTION SHALL APPLY WHEN A PERSON APPEARS TO VOTE DURING THE PREELECTION DAY VOTING PERIOD; TO PROVIDE THAT ALL VOTES CAST DURING THE PREELECTION DAY VOTING PERIOD SHALL BE FINAL; TO PROVIDE THAT THE VOTES CAST DURING THE PREELECTION DAY VOTING PERIOD SHALL BE ANNOUNCED SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH THE VOTE CAST ON ELECTION DAY; TO PROVIDE THAT EACH CANDIDATE SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE PRESENT AT THE REGISTRAR'S OFFICE AND TO CHALLENGE THE QUALIFICATIONS OF ANY PERSON OFFERING TO PREELECTION VOTE IN THE SAME MANNER AS PROVIDED BY LAW AT THE POLLING PLACE ON THE DAY OF THE ELECTION; TO REQUIRE THE SECRETARY OF STATE TO PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS NECESSARY TO EFFECTUATE PREELECTION DAY VOTING; TO AMEND SECTION 23-15-195, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Sections 1 through 6 of this act shall be known and may be cited as the "Preelection Day Voting Act."
SECTION 2. (1) The preelection day voting period shall begin twenty (20) days before the date of each election and end at 12:00 p.m. on the Saturday immediately before election day. Any qualified elector may vote in the registrar's office in the county in which the elector is registered to vote during the times established for preelection day voting in this section.
(2) Preelection day voting shall be conducted in the office of the registrar during weekdays from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. During the last full week before an election, the office of the register may remain open for preelection voting on weekdays during the lunch hour and from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.
SECTION 3. (1) An elector who desires to vote early shall appear at the office of the registrar in the county in which he is registered to vote and shall present an acceptable form of photo identification. After signing the appropriate receipt book, the elector shall cast his ballot in the same manner as he would at his voting precinct on the day of the election. Except as may be otherwise provided by Sections 7 through 11 of this act, the election laws that govern procedures for a person who appears to vote on the day of election shall apply when a person appears to vote during the preelection day voting period.
(2) All votes cast at a preelection day voting location shall be final.
(3) The votes cast during preelection voting shall be announced simultaneously with the vote cast on election day.
SECTION 4. Each candidate or his representatives shall have the right to be present at the office of the registrar when it is open for preelection day voting and to challenge the qualifications of any person offering to vote in the same manner as provided by law at the polling place on election day.
SECTION 5. The Secretary of State shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to effectuate preelection day voting.
SECTION 6. Section 23-15-195, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
23-15-195. All elections by
the people shall be by ballot * * *
SECTION 7. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2021.