JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi has seen a slight increase in the number of people listed on the rolls of active voters in the months leading up to the general election for governor and other offices, state records show.
From April 1 through Oct. 1, roughly 33,000 people filled out voter-registration forms. About 300 were rejected, and more than 32,000 other voters were moved from active to inactive status — something that happens when people do not cast a ballot in multiple elections.
The active voter count increased by 334 or 0.02%. Mississippi had about 1.92 million active voters as of Oct. 1.
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal obtained information about voter rolls from the secretary of state’s office through a public records request.
Another 40,000 voters who were on the inactive list were removed from the rolls. These could be people who died, moved or did not vote for other reasons.
The general election for statewide, legislative, regional and local offices is Tuesday.
About 154,000 voters are on inactive status. Their circuit clerk should have sent these voters notices of their status change, after which they have four years to confirm they are still living at their registered address. Voters who fail to return the notice are removed from the rolls.
Inactive voters who show up to the proper precinct on Election Day or to the circuit clerk’s office during absentee in-person voting before the election may submit affidavit ballots. Those ballots are reviewed by local election commissioners to determine if they can be counted and if the voter can be returned to the active list.
Mississippi’s Republican-controlled legislature in recent years has enacted laws to centralize oversight of voter rolls and require counties to review and remove voters who do not meet certain criteria.
House Bill 1310, signed by Republican Gov. Tate Reeves in April, requires counties to review the rolls each presidential election cycle. Anyone who has not voted since the previous primary election four years before must be moved to inactive status.
The law also empowers the secretary of state to audit elections in all 82 counties for several years, beginning this year.
Opponents argue the law makes it harder for people to vote who skip some elections, effectively reducing the impact of high-turnout elections that attract infrequent voters.
Mississippi voters can check their registration at the secretary of state’s elections website, yallvote.sos.ms.gov, or call 1-800-829-6786.