Absentee voting is high in some Mississippi counties - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Absentee voting is high in some Mississippi counties

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A high number of absentee ballots is a potential cause for concern. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann says there is the highest potential for fraud with absentee ballots.Some counties are reporting more than double the usual numbers.

"First few elections that we've ever had since 1817 where we didn't have any dead people voting," noted Hosemann. 

Secretary Hosemann says voter ID laws have cut out some of the work arounds for fraud. But absentee voting is still a weak spot.

"We find that people who may want to be casting a ballot for someone else, will go through the absentee valid process," said Hosemann. "That would be the only available option."

That's why a higher than usual percentage of absentee ballots in a few counties raised a potential red flag for him. 

"They have gotten very lenient on the reasons you can vote on absentee ballot," added Hinds County Circuit Clerk Barbara Dunn.

Dunn said her office is busiest before gubernatorial or presidential races.

"When it comes down to the deadline, all of a sudden the office is completely filled with a lot of noise and people that want to vote absentee," explained Dunn.

There's a dozen reasons you can legitimately vote absentee in Mississippi. Flat out convenience isn't one of them.

"Otherwise you're fraudulently casting your ballot," noted Hosemann. "If you're not out of the county on election day, you should be going to the precincts."

Mississippi doesn't have early voting. But Hosemann said a panel is having ongoing conversations about election reforms.

The deadline to vote absentee in person is Saturday by noon. If you're mailing a ballot, it has to be in the clerk's office by 5:00 Monday night.

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