Irregularities in Municipal Absentee Balloting

Secretary of State to look for irregularities in absentee balloting

Jackson, MS‹The Secretary of State¹s Office will conduct a thorough review
of absentee ballots cast in some cities in the upcoming Municipal Primary
Election. This review comes on the heels of several complaints from
municipal clerks, elected officials, and citizens regarding a high number of
absentee ballots cast thus far in the primary.

³A high number of absentee ballots cast this early in the primary causes
concern for our Municipal Clerks and our Agency and may lead our citizens to
question the integrity of their election,² says Secretary of State Delbert
Hosemann.

The Secretary of State¹s Office has also received complaints from some
municipal clerks stating some individuals have allegedly been solicited to
cast an absentee ballot.

Therefore, in areas where the Secretary of State¹s Office has been contacted
by a municipal clerk, or where there are a high number of absentee ballots
cast, our Agency will conduct a thorough review of absentee ballot
applications and envelopes to determine if correct balloting procedures were
administered.

“Where we suspect there is a possibility for voter fraud, we will be
watching,² says Secretary Hosemann. ³Anyone attempting to commit voter
fraud, or any instance where we believe voter fraud is committed, will be
reported immediately to the Attorney General and local District Attorney.²

Absentee ballots are generally cast by voters who are disabled, age 65 or
older, or absent from the city on Election Day. Penalties for violating the
absentee voter laws are fines up to $5000 and five years in the State
Penitentiary.