RIPLEY -- Monday, Oct. 5 is the last day to register to vote in the Tuesday, Nov. 3 presidential election. Stop by the Benton or Tippah County Circuit Clerk’s office to register. Both offices will be open this Saturday, Oct. 3 from 8 a.m. - noon for voter registration and absentee voting.

Saturday, Oct. 31 is the last day to vote absentee in person. The circuit clerks’ offices will receive and count mail in votes five working days after the election, if they are postmarked on or before election day.

“That is a new law that went into effect this year,” said Tippah County Circuit Clerk Randy Graves. “We have to wait five days post election.”

Graves said he was unsure if the mail-in regulation was election specific because of COVID-19 or not.

“The other thing that is new this year is that when you vote absentee, that is your final vote,” continued Graves.  

Graves said previously voters could vote absentee at his office and then vote at the polls, thus canceling the absentee vote.

“If you go to the polls to vote and you voted absentee it will show in the poll book that you voted absentee. Then you have to vote affidavit paper ballot. If your absentee vote counted - which means if you did everything you’re supposed to, signed it where you were supposed to, etc. -  then your absentee vote still will be the vote that is counted.”

Voters have until Saturday, Oct. 31 to vote absentee. Both Tippah and Benton circuit clerks’ offices will be open from 8 a.m. - noon on Saturday, Oct 24 and 8 a.m - 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31 for absentee voting.

Because Mississippi is not an early voting state, only certain persons may vote absentee.

Those eligible to vote by absentee ballot include:

Members of the Armed Forces, their spouses and their dependents.

Members of the Merchant Marines or the American Red Cross, their spouses and their dependents.

Disabled war veterans who are patients in any hospital, their spouses and their dependents.

Civilians attached to any branch of the Armed Forces, the Merchant Marines, or the American Red Cross and serving outside the United States, or their spouses and/or dependents.

Persons temporarily residing outside the territorial limits of the United States and the District of Columbia.

Students, teachers, or administrators whose employment or studies necessitate their absence from their county of voting residence, or their dependent or spouse who maintains a common domicile outside the county of voting residence.

Persons who will be outside their county of residence on election day.

Persons required to be at work on election day during the times at which the polls will be open.

Persons temporarily or permanently physically disabled.

Persons who are 65 or older.

Parents, spouses, or dependents of persons having a temporary or permanent physical disability who are hospitalized outside their county of residence or more than fifty miles away from their residence if the parents, spouses, and/or dependents will be with such persons on election day.

Members of the Mississippi Congressional delegation, or their spouses and/or dependents.

If a mailed absentee ballot is requested, individuals must request their own absentee ballots. Under special circumstances, family members or caregivers may request sample ballots for an individual. Ballots may be requested by writing from the Benton or Tippah County Circuit Clerks’ offices by calling them.

For further information, contact the Tippah County Circuit Clerk’s office at 837-7370 or Benton County Circuit Clerk’s office at 224-6310.

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