TUPELO • Mississippi political offices great and small will be up for grabs this year and eligible but unregistered voters still have time to make sure they have a say.
From the governor’s mansion in Jackson all the way to justice court chambers across the state, primaries in August and a general election in November will seat an array of powerful positions.
A number of statewide seats, including governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and secretary of state feature no incumbent running.
The gubernatorial race in particular is widely expected to be especially competitive this year.
Mississippi requires that eligible voters register weeks ahead of election days, but there’s still about a month to go before the first of several successive deadlines.
If you want to participate in the Aug. 6 primary elections but aren’t registered to vote, you must do so by Monday, July 8. In-person registrations must be completed by 5 p.m. that day, while mail-in registrations must be postmarked by July 8.
Under state law, circuit clerk offices in the state must be open about half the day on the previous Saturday. That means eligible voters can register with their local circuit clerk between 8 a.m. and noon on Saturday, July 6.
The latest you can register to vote while still participating in the Aug. 27 primary runoffs is Monday, July 29.
Oct. 7 is the voter registration deadline ahead of the Nov. 5 general election, while Oct. 28 is the voter registration deadline ahead of any general election runoff on Nov. 26.
Lee County’s circuit clerk keeps offices at the county Justice Center at 200 W. Jefferson St. in Tupelo.
In some races, the final winner will be decided in the primaries. Other seats will remain contested all the way through the fall.
Even voters who have long been registered may need to pay a visit to the local circuit clerk. Voters who have moved since the last election need to update their address to ensure they cast a ballot in the correct precinct and for the right candidates.
In some areas, a move of even a short distance could put someone into a different district for county offices or district seats, including legislative offices and transportation commission.
Lee County Circuit Clerk Camille Roberts Dulaney encouraged voters who have moved to update their addresses as soon as possible.
“People wait. They don’t think of it until the day of the election,” Dulaney said. “Then they are calling us and complaining that they aren’t in the right precinct.”
Dulaney said voters who have changed addresses but remained within the same county can update their registration information up to the election.
Someone who has moved from one county to another within the state should update their information about 30 days in advance of an election to provide enough time for the transfer of registration information, according to Dulaney.