Diversity and Community Engagement
The University of Mississippi

UM Votes: Absentee Ballots – What You Need to Know

Once you have registered to vote, there is a good chance that either because you are not going to be in your home county on election day or because of concerns about coronavirus, you are interested in obtaining an absentee ballot. (See Elections and COVID 19 Guide Here)

In Mississippi, you have two choices for casting your ballot:

  • Vote in-person on Election Day, 11/3
  • Vote by absentee ballot, 9/21 – 11/3

In Mississippi, there are a limited number of valid reasons to get an absentee ballot. Being outside your home county because you are here at Ole Miss on election day is the main one that would apply to college students, but other reasons include being required to work during polling hours on election day or having a disability that keeps you from going to the polls. The state of Mississippi is currently among the stricter states for accepting concerns of the coronavirus as a reason to vote absentee, so that reason on its own is not enough.

View the full MS Secretary of State guide on absentee ballots here.

View absentee ballot information for other states here.

To cast absentee ballot in-person:

Yes, you can cast an absentee ballot in-person throughout the election season! This is an easy way to know your ballot has been cast and avoids any potential delays by mail.

Circuit Clerk’s Offices are open during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday).

Circuit Clerk’s Offices will also open on Saturdays during Election season:

  • 8 a.m.- noon on 10/24
  • 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on 10/31

To request a mail-in absentee ballot:

Contact your county circuit clerk’s office and request an absentee ballot. You will tell them your reason for voting absentee (you are a college student and away from your home county), and they will get your ballot sent to your mailing address. Make sure they have the correct mailing address!

Directory of MS Circuit Clerk’s Offices

Notarizing your mail-in absentee ballot:

Yes, you have to have your ballot notarized! The notary will certify that you are the one who has filled out your ballot before you get it sent off.

Yes, we can help you with that! – For FREE!

Email engaged@olemiss.edu to schedule an appointment to have your ballot notarized. We have several notaries that have made their services free of charge for absentee ballots this election season. Need other options? Pak Mail on campus has notaries on staff for a fee on $5 and the Oxford public library has two notaries on staff. Reach out to any of these groups to set up a time to get your ballot notarized.

Even though absentee ballots are typically returned by mail, you can also bring your ballot in person to the circuit clerk’s office to ensure a timely delivery. It is very important to make sure that your ballot is postmarked by 5:00 pm, Election Day, Tuesday, 11/3, and received within 10 days, 11/13. If you are worried about potential mail delays, you can drop the ballot off in person at your circuit clerk’s office.

Remember that if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to the voting ambassadors at engaged@olemiss.edu or call your circuit clerk’s office (in the county in which you are registered)!

Nick Castellanos

Nick Castellanos

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