Mississippi Resources for Voters with Disabilities

What are my rights as a voter with a disability in Mississippi?

In Mississippi, you have the right to the following as protected by federal law. Election staff must be trained on and respect these rights:

  • Accessible voter registration
  • Accessible polling places 
  • Policies and procedures that do not discriminate against you based on your disability
  • Accessible, available, and operational voting systems
  • Your service animal to accompany you inside the polling place
  • The right to vote privately and independently or with assistance, if needed
  • Assistance from a person of your choice, who can be a friend, family member, or poll worker (but not your boss, union agent or someone who has authority over you at work)

In Mississippi, you also have the right to:  

  • Vote by affidavit ballot even if your name does not appear on the poll book or you do not have an acceptable form of photo ID.
    • If you cast an affidavit ballot, you are entitled to receive written information at the time of voting on how to know if the vote was counted or why it was not counted.
       
  • Have a relative who is a parent, child, or spouse assist you in voting even if they are a candidate on the ballot or the spouse, parent or child of a candidate
    • Those who are not your parent, child, or spouse who may not assist you include:
      • a candidate whose name is on the ballot
      • the spouse, parent, sibling or child of a candidate whose name is on the ballot
      • a poll watcher who is observing in the polling place on Election Day
      • your employer or agent of that employer
      • an officer or agent of your union
Who can register to vote in Mississippi?

To register to vote in Mississippi, you must be: 

  • A citizen of the United States of America
  • A resident of Mississippi and the county, city, or town for 30 days prior to the election
  • At least 18 years old by the date of the next General Election

If you are a student, unhoused, a survivor of intimate partner violence with related concerns, or living with a mental or physical impairment, you may still register and vote.

In  Mississippi, you may not register or vote if you:

  • Have been declared mentally incompetent, unless your right has been restored 
  • Are incarcerated, on probation, on parole, or if you have been convicted of a disqualifying crime
  • You claim the right to vote elsewhere

Register to vote now if you are eligible!

What are my rights when registering to vote in Mississippi?

Federal law requires assistance in registering to vote from offices that provide public assistance or state-funded programs serving people with disabilities. Responsibilities of these offices include:

  • Providing voter registration forms
  • Assisting voters in completing the forms
  • Transmitting completed forms to the appropriate election official

All aspects of voter registration must be accessible

What are the different ways to vote in Mississippi?
  • In person on Election Day
  • Absentee
    • In person
    • By mail
       
  • While abroad as a citizen or military through an absentee ballot request
  • A provisional ballot at a polling place that is counted after officials confirm your eligibility
What are the ways to request an Absentee Ballot in Mississippi?

You must fill out an absentee ballot request in Mississippi. U.S. Vote Foundation has an online tool that can assist you with this process.

Request an absentee ballot now or contact your local election official to find out how to get an accessible ballot.

How is the Mississippi mail-in or absentee ballot process made accessible for voters with print disabilities?

If you need an alternative ballot, please contact your local election official.

What accommodations are available for voters with disabilities at polling locations in Mississippi?

Federal law requires polling places to meet minimum compliance standards for individuals with special needs. 

  • The Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984 (VAEHA) requires accessible polling places in federal elections for elderly individuals and people with disabilities. Where no accessible location is available to serve as a polling place, voters must be provided an alternate means of voting in person on Election Day.
     
  • The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) requires at least one accessible voting system for persons with disabilities at each polling place in federal elections.  The accessible voting system must provide the same opportunity for access and participation, including privacy and independence, that other voters receive. 

If you want to check that your polling location meets these standards or find an alternative polling location, contact your local election official.

If you are unable to stand in line, you can:

  • Request to be moved to the front of the line or refuse to be moved to the front of the line
  • Request that a chair be provided or refuse to accept a chair
  • Request to have your place in line held and notified when it is your turn
What are the rules of assistance for disabled voters in Mississippi?
  • You may request assistance from a poll worker or receive assistance from a person of your choice with the following exceptions:  
    • your employer or an agent of your employer
    • an officer or agent of your union
       
  • A poll worker cannot force you to accept assistance.
How can I prepare to use accessible voting equipment prior to Election Day?

For information about the accessible voting machines available to you, please contact your local election official.

Who do I contact if I have problems when voting in Mississippi?

You can fill out the Mississippi HAVA Complaint Form. The form must be notarized before being filed in one of the following ways:

  • Hand delivery to The Secretary of State’s Office Elections Division
  • Overnight service to:
    401 Mississippi Street
    Jackson, Mississippi
    39201
     
  • By mail to:
    Post Office Box 136
    Jackson, Mississippi
    39205-0136. 

If you have any questions, please contact the Elections Division at (800) 829-6786. 

You can also fill out a Violation of Civil Rights Complaint Form and submit it to the US Department of Justice by one of the following methods:

  • Online, through the form’s submission process - this is the fastest method.
  • By fax at (202) 616-9881. You MUST include “ATTN: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Complaints" at the top of your fax submission for it to be processed correctly.
  • By mailing your form to: 

                 U.S. Department of Justice
                 Office of the Inspector General Investigations Division
                 ATTN: Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Complaints
                 950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
                 Washington, DC 20530

For additional assistance, The National Network of ADA Centers can provide local contact information for other organizations you may wish to contact, including your Regional ADA Center or ADA Knowledge Translation Center, or Federal Agencies and Resources.