From Press Reports
Mississippians no longer have to leave the comfort of their home or office to change their existing voter registration information.
‘Y’all Vote’ launched in September in connection with National Voter Registration Month. The site allows citizens to change their voter-roll information by submitting an online application, and acts as an online voter information center aimed at preparing voters to cast a ballot on Election Day.
The 2016 general election, which includes races for U.S. president and House of Representatives, is scheduled for Nov. 8.
“Using modern technology to streamline the process for registered voters to update their information makes sense for voters and circuit clerks,” said Gov. Phil Bryant, who signed legislation enabling Y’all Vote in April. “I am pleased that legislation I signed this year has made it possible.”
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann agreed.
“Making it more convenient for Mississippi voters to change preexisting information, while ensuring the security and accuracy of information submitted, was the ultimate goal of Y’all Vote,” Hosemann said. “However, there are numerous other benefits, including saving taxpayers’ time and money. We will be able to print less paper applications and process information more efficiently. Voters will not have to pay for postage.”
Changing voter registration information on Y’all Vote is accomplished in three steps online.
For a change in name or address to be processed, a voter must provide his or her county, name, date of birth and the last four digits of his or her social security number so the voter can be located in the Statewide Elections Management System, Mississippi’s voter registration database. A voter must also be located in the Department of Public Safety database by providing his or her name, address, date of birth and driver’s license or identification number exactly as the information appears on his or her state-issued license or ID. The new information is then available to the relevant circuit clerk, who also checks for accuracy. Providing false information on Y’all Vote is a crime.
Importantly, address changes after Oct. 8, which was the deadline for registering to vote in the General Election, require the voter to contact the circuit clerk in his or her county in which the voter is currently registered.
Y’all Vote is the product of study groups organized by the Secretary of State’s Office in 2015 that examined the need and feasibility of implementing online voter registration in Mississippi.
During the 2016 legislative session, House Apportionment and Elections Chairman Bill Denny (R-Jackson) authored House Bill 809, which provided the Secretary of State’s Office the authority to create the online registration update portion of Y’all Vote. Senate Elections Chairwoman Sally Doty (R-Brookhaven) authored the Senate version of the bill. The legislation passed with overwhelming support from House and Senate members.
More than 1.8 million active voters are registered in Mississippi, including 7,283 in Webster County as of Oct. 14, according to the circuit clerk’s office.
With more than 80 percent of the eligible voting-age population registered to vote, Mississippi has one of the highest voter registration rates in the country.