Mississippi is deciding four U.S. House races, with incumbents on the ballot in three. The longest-serving member of the state’s current congressional delegation is Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Thompson was first elected in 1993 in the 2nd District in western Mississippi.
He faces the same Republican he defeated in 2020, military veteran Brian Flowers. In the northern 1st District, Republican Rep. Trent Kelly was first elected in 2015. He faces Democrat Dianne Black, a business owner. In the central 3rd District, Republican Rep. Michael Guest was first elected in 2018. He faces Democrat Shuwaski Young, a military veteran.
In the southern 4th District, Republican Rep. Steven Palazzo, first elected in 2010, lost the GOP primary in June to Mike Ezell, a sheriff. Ezell faces Democrat Johnny DuPree, a former mayor who was the 2011 Democratic nominee for governor, and a Libertarian candidate, Alden Patrick Johnson.
Here’s a look at what to expect on election night:
Polls close at 7 p.m. local time (8 p.m. ET).
HOW MISSISSIPPI VOTES
Republicans hold all statewide offices in Mississippi, including the governorship and both U.S. Senate seats. They also hold wide majorities in the state House and Senate, which are not on the ballot this year. During redistricting this year, legislators did not make major changes to the four U.S. House districts. Three of the districts are majority-white and one is majority-Black. Mississippi has a history of racially polarized voting, with Republicans more likely to win in areas with higher concentrations of white voters and Democrats more likely to win in majority-Black districts.
AP will tabulate and declare winners in five contested elections in Mississippi, including four U.S. House races and one special state House race. In the 2020 general election, AP first reported results at 8:18 p.m. ET Tuesday, Nov. 3, and 100% of results at 8:29 a.m. ET on Thursday, Nov. 5.
The AP does not make projections and will only declare a winner when it’s determined there is no scenario that would allow the trailing candidates to close the gap.
Should a candidate declare victory or offer a concession before the AP calls a race, we will cover newsworthy developments in our reporting. In doing so, we will make clear that the AP has not declared a winner and explain why.
The AP may call a statewide or U.S. House race in which the margin between the top two candidates is 0.5% or less, if we determine the lead is too large for a recount to change the outcome.
The AP will not call down-ballot races on election night if the margin between the top two candidates is less than 2%. AP will revisit those races later in the week to confirm there are not enough outstanding votes left to count that could change the outcome.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW?
Q: WHAT’S CHANGED SINCE THE PANDEMIC ELECTION OF 2020?
A: Not much in terms of how Mississippi votes. The state remains primarily a place of in-person voting, with no early voting and no no-excuse voting by mail.
Q: WHAT DO TURNOUT AND ADVANCE VOTE LOOK LIKE?
A: Total advance vote likely will return to less than 10% of the total vote after spiking in 2020 to nearly 20% due to Covid exceptions for absentee voting. With no statewide races and no competitive House races, turnout will be low. It was about 11% for the June 2022 primary. Absentee and overseas ballots must be returned or postmarked by Election Day to be counted.
Q: HOW LONG DOES COUNTING USUALLY TAKE?
A: Mississippi typically does not count all its votes on election night, but the percentage of uncounted votes should not be as high as November 2020 when only 83% of the total vote was completed election day.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS AFTER TUESDAY?
A: Mississippi law does not provide for automatic recounts. Anyone who wants to contest an election must go to court.