Digital First: First day of absentee voting in Forrest County

Pine Belt

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Voters were eager to get to the polls on the first day of early voting in Forrest County. 

The county clerk said 40 plus people have already voted since the start of the day, and they’ve received non-stop phone inquiries asking about COVID-19 and if it’s a valid excuse for not going to the polls on November 3rd. While the Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled that the virus is not a valid excuse, it hasn’t stopped others from voting absentee.

In order to absentee vote you must fit the following criteria:

  • You will be away from your county on Election Day for any reason;
  • You are a student, teacher, or administrator at a school whose studies or employment there necessitates your absence from your county on Election Day; or you are the spouse or dependent thereof;
  • You have a temporary or permanent physical disability that renders you unable to vote in person without substantial hardship;
  • You are the parent, spouse, or dependent of a person with a temporary or permanent physical disability who is hospitalized outside of their county of residence or more than fifty (50) miles away, and you (the parent, spouse or dependent) will be with that person on Election Day;
  • You are sixty-five (65) years of age or older;
  • You will be unable to vote in person because you are required to be at work on Election Day during the times at which the polls will be open;
  • You are a member, spouse, or dependent of the congressional delegation;
  • You are a disabled war veteran (or spouse or dependant of such a person) in a hospital;
  • You are a member (or spouse or dependant of such a person) of the Merchant Marine or American Red Cross.

County leaders say they’ve received more than 500 requests on the first day alone for voters who had interest in an absentee ballot.

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