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Municipal Elections Overview 2017 Municipal Certification Training Presented by: The Mississippi Secretary of States Office Elections Division Election Official Training The Mississippi State HAVA plan requires municipal election officials be certified by our Office to

conduct elections within six (6) months of any regularly scheduled Primary or General Election: Election Commissioners Party Executive Committee Members Municipal Clerk and/or deputy municipal clerk(s) Section 5, Voting Rights Act Since June, 2013, preclearance of a change in existing voting practice from the U.S. Department of Justice is no longer required.

(Shelby County, AL v. Holder) Voting Machines Municipalities are not required to use any particular type of voting technology. Direct Recording Equipment (DRE) or Optical Mark Reading (OMR) voting machines are utilized in Primary and General Elections for county elections, and are required for federal elections. Municipalities may use any voting method, but the

municipality bears the cost. Municipal Boundaries and Districts Only voters who reside within the corporate boundaries of the municipality may participate in municipal elections. If your municipality is divided into wards or districts, only voters who reside within those wards or districts may vote in those races.

Municipal Boundaries and Districts Municipal governing authorities may: Possibly divide the municipality into wards. Possibly divide the municipality into voting precincts with different polling places for those precincts. Municipal boundaries and districts must be entered into the Statewide Elections Management System (SEMS).

Municipal Boundaries and Districts Redistricting is required every ten (10) years with the census to ensure equal representation. Any redistricting changes must be implemented in SEMS, and voters must be notified of any changes to polling places by sending a new voter registration card. Municipal Population and Aldermen Municipal population 10,000 or more:

7 aldermen, elected at large or by wards Municipal population 10,000 or less: 5 aldermen, elected at large or by wards 2016 Amendment to 21-3-7, Miss. Code Ann.: Municipal population of 500 or less: 3 aldermen Municipal Clerk Beginning in 2017, all municipal clerks in code charter municipalities are appointed, as opposed

to elected. Amendment to Miss. Code Ann. 21-3-3 by House Bill 130 (Regular Session, 2016). Statewide Elections Management System Every election in Mississippi, including municipal elections, must be entered into SEMS so pollbooks may be printed. Municipalities may request and receive Read Only access to SEMS.

Read Only access to SEMS enables the municipality to print its own pollbooks. Voter Registration The Municipal Clerks Office must be open the Saturday before the 30th day before any regularly scheduled Primary or General Election from 8am until 12 noon. April 1st is the deadline before the Primary Election; May 1st is the deadline before the General Election.

A voter must be registered in the municipality 30 days prior to Election Day. Disenfranchising Crimes Voter Registration A UOCAVA voter may register until 10 days prior to an election. The effective date of registration is the date the

application is received by your office or, if received by mail, the date it was postmarked. Regularly Scheduled Election Code Charter Municipalities Regularly scheduled elections occur every four (4) years. Primary Election: May 2, 2017 Primary Runoff Election: May 16, 2017 General Election: June 6, 2017

Cost of Elections The municipality pays all costs of all elections: Primary, Primary Runoff, General and Special Elections. The municipal governing authority determines the compensation, if any, to be paid to the Municipal Election Commissioners and any compensation above the statutory minimum to be paid to poll workers.

Municipal Election Commissioners The municipal governing authority appoints registered voters of the municipality as election commissioners based the population: Less than 20,000: 3 20,000 or more, but less than 100,000: 5 100,000 or more: 7 Municipal Executive Committee

Municipal Executive Committees are responsible for conducting municipal primary elections. A Municipal Executive Committee has as many members as elected officers of the municipality and are elected in the Primary Election. Vacancies are filled by appointment of the remaining members of the Executive Committee. Members are elected in the Primary Election. Municipal Executive Committee

A political party which does not have a Municipal Executive Committee already in place may establish a temporary Executive Committee no later than 30 days of the qualifying deadline for municipal candidates. Miss. Code Ann. 23-15-313 If no temporary committee is formed, the county

executive committee may serve as the temporary municipal executive committee. Executive Committee Contract Municipal Executive Committees may enter into written agreements with Municipal Election Commissions or Municipal Clerks to perform certain statutory duties in a Primary Election if the political party with which such municipal executive committee is affiliated: (a) has cast for its candidate for Governor in the last two (2) gubernatorial

elections 10% of the total vote cast for Governor; or (b) has cast for its candidate for Governor in three (3) of the last five (5) gubernatorial elections 25% of the total vote cast for Governor. Executive Committee Contract Appoint poll managers (Miss. Code Ann. 23-15-265), Train poll managers (Miss. Code Ann. 23-15-239), Distribute ballot boxes (Miss. Code Ann. 23-15-267), Print ballots (Miss. Code Ann. 23-15-333),

Distribute to poll managers (Miss. Code Ann. 23-15335), and Canvass and certify the election (Miss. Code Ann. 2315-597). Candidate Qualifying Qualifying Deadline 60 days before the date

of the first Primary Election. March 3, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. Deadline applies to both party primary and independent (general election) candidates. All candidates file their qualifying papers with the Municipal Clerk. Party/Primary Candidate Qualifying Party/Primary Election candidates:

Pay a filing fee of ten dollars ($10.00) and File a Statement of Intent with the Municipal Clerk Form Statement of Intent available on our website: http:// www.sos.ms.gov/Elections-Voting/Pages/Candidat e-Qualifying-Forms.aspx . Party/Primary Candidate Qualifying

The Municipal Clerk should ascertain if a municipal executive committee is in place before accepting any candidates statement of intent or filing fee for a primary election. If a Municipal Executive Committee is in place, the clerks office accepts the completed qualifying forms and forwards the same to the Secretary of the Executive Committee. Party/Primary Candidate Qualifying

A receipt for payment should be given to party candidates, and the qualifying fee should be promptly paid to the Secretary of the Municipal Executive Committee. For auditing purposes, qualifying candidates should pay the filing fee to the Municipal Clerks Office by check. Independent Candidate Qualifying Independent candidates file a:

Petition signed by no less than 50 qualified electors of municipality or district if the population is 1000 or more; 15 qualified electors of municipality or district if the population is less than 1000, and Statement of Intent. Forms are available on our website: http://www.sos.ms.gov/Elections-Voting/Pages/CandidateQualifying-Forms.aspx . Independent Candidate Qualifying

Upon receipt of a filed Petition, the Municipal Clerk must verify the number of signatures are of registered voters of the municipality and/or district, and attach a Certificate. The filed Statement of Intent and Petition, with Certificate, should then be forwarded to the Municipal Election Commission. Qualifying Candidates The Municipal Executive Committee for the Primary

Election and the Municipal Election Commission for the General Election determine the candidates qualifications: Did the candidate timely submit the qualifying documents? Is the candidate a qualified elector of the municipality and district/ward, if the office is a district/ward seat? Has the candidate been convicted of a disqualifying crime? Does the candidate meet the qualifications of the office sought.

Qualifying Candidates When the Executive Committee or the Election Commission determines a candidate is not qualified, the candidate must be provided written notice and an opportunity to be heard. Additional Candidate Requirements Statement of Economic Interest: Candidates, within 15 days of qualifying

Incumbents, on or before May 1st each year. www.ethics.state.ms.us Campaign Finance Disclosure Reports Campaign Finance The Municipal Clerks Office must: Make blank forms available to candidates, Accept completed campaign finance reports from municipal candidates and political committees,

Make completed forms available for public inspection, Provide copies of all reports to MSOS, and Notify the election officials if reports are not filed. Municipal Campaign Finance Schedule Primary Pre-Election Report: April 25, 2017 January 1, 2017 through April 22, 2017 Primary Pre-Runoff Election Report: May 9, 2017

April 23, 2017 through May 6, 2017 Pre-Election Report, May 30, 2017 April 23, 2017 through May 27, 2016 2017 Annual Report, Jan. 31, 2018 January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017 Campaign Finance All contributions in excess of $200 in the aggregate

must be itemized. Identify the contributor by name, mailing address, employer or occupation, date and amount of contribution. All expenditures in excess of $200 in the aggregate must be itemized. Identify the expenditure by name, mailing address, purpose of the disbursement (optional), date and amount of the expenditure.

Campaign Finance Any campaign contributions received or expenditures made in furtherance of a campaign during calendar year 2016 must be reported by the candidate/political committee on the 2016 Annual Report. Deadline: January 31, 2017 at close of business in the Municipal Clerks Office. Campaign Finance Penalties

A candidates campaign finance report(s) MUST be filed prior to taking office. Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $3000 or imprisonment for up to 6 months, No candidate may be certified as nominated or elected to office, No candidate elected to office may receive any salary or remuneration. Printing the Primary Election Ballot

The Municipal Executive Committee is responsible for proofing and printing the ballot. The candidates names are to be listed in alphabetical order. If only one candidate qualified for a particular office, the candidates name need not be listed on the ballot, but the committee must declare that candidate to be the partys nominee. Printing the General Election

Ballot One commissioner designated by the Municipal Election Commission is responsible for proofing and printing the ballot. The order in which the candidates names are listed is left to the discretion of the designated commissioner. Printing the General Election

Ballot If only one candidate qualified for a particular office, the candidates name must be listed on the ballot. If only one candidate qualified for all offices on the general election ballot, the Election Commission may dispense with the election and declare each candidate elected without opposition.

Absentee Voting Absentee ballot applications must be available 60 days before any election. Absentee ballots must be available 45 days before an election, or as soon as possible. Absentee ballots must be printed on tinted paper of a tint different from that of the regular official ballot. Absentee Voting: Who is Eligible?

Members of the United States Armed Forces, or their spouses and/or dependents. Members of the Merchant Marines or American Red Cross, or their spouses and/or dependents. Disabled war veterans who are patients in any hospital, or their spouses and/or 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.

Absentee Voting: Who is Eligible? Any trained or certified emergency response provider who is deployed on Election Day during any state of emergency declared by the President of the United States or any Governor of any U.S. State. 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. Absentee Voting: Who is Eligible? Persons who will be outside their counties 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. Members of the Mississippi Congressional

delegation, or their spouses and/or dependents. Absentee Voting: Who is Eligible? Persons sixty-five (65) years of age or older. Parents, spouses, or dependents of persons having a temporary or permanent physical disability who are hospitalized outside their counties of residence or more than fifty (50) miles away from their residences if the parents, spouses, and/or dependents will be with such persons on Election Day.

Miss. Code Ann. 23-15-627; 23-15-673; 23-15-713 Absentee Voting by Mail Voters eligible to vote by absentee ballot by mail: Voters who are temporarily residing outside the municipality, Voters who are temporarily or permanently physically disabled, Voters who are sixty-five (65) years of age or older, or The parents, spouse, or dependents of temporarily or permanently disabled persons who are hospitalized outside of

their cities of residence or more than 50 miles away from their residence if those persons will be with them on election day. Instructions to Absent Electors The Municipal Clerk must enclose with each ballot mailed to an absentee voter printed instructions. See, Miss. Code Ann. 23-15-631. Uniformed and Overseas Citizens

Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) Absentee ballots may be requested, sent and received by mail, email or fax. One absentee ballot application per calendar year. Absentee ballots must be prepared and sent 45 days prior to each election, if a previous request has been received. UOCAVA voters have an extended voter registration deadline: 10 days prior to the primary or general election. UOCAVA Voters

Members of the United States Armed Forces, or their spouses and/or dependents. Members of the Merchant Marines or American Red Cross, or their spouses and/or dependents. Disabled war veterans who are patients in any hospital, or their spouses and/or 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.

UOCAVA Voters Any trained or certified emergency response provider who is deployed on Election Day during any state of emergency declared by the President of the United States or any Governor of any U.S. State, or their spouses and/or dependents. Persons temporarily residing outside the territorial limits of the United States and the District of Columbia, or their spouses and/or dependents. Any student at the United States Naval Academy, Coast Guard

Academy, Marine Academy, Air Force Academy or Military Academy, or their spouses and/or dependents. Record of Absentee Voters The Municipal Clerk must keep a permanent ledger for the purpose of showing the number of applications, the voter, and the person to whom the applications were given. The Municipal Clerk must also keep a list of all voters who cast an absentee ballot, and this

list shall be conspicuously posted in the clerks office for public inspection. Distribution of Applications The registrar shall be responsible for furnishing an absentee ballot application to any ELECTOR authorized to receive an absentee ballot, upon the oral or written request of the elector who seeks to vote by absentee ballot. The parent, child, spouse, sibling, legal guardian,

those empowered with a power of attorney for that electors affairs or agent of the elector may orally request an absentee ballot application on behalf of the elector. Permanently Disabled List An application for an absentee ballot of a person who is permanently physically disabled may be accompanied by a statement signed and sworn to by a physician or nurse practitioner indicating the

person is permanently physically disabled. This voter automatically receives an absentee ballot for all elections on a continuing basis without the need for another application. Agents and Skilled Nursing Homes To obtain an application, an agent must have a written designation by the elector. It must be witnessed and have the address of the witness. The written designation is valid for one year.

No one other than the voter, a family member or person designated may request an absentee ballot for a skilled nursing resident. Family member means a spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, adult child, grandchild or legal guardian. Requests by Telephone The Municipal Clerk is authorized to accept requests for absentee ballots by telephone.

The Municipal Clerk shall ascertain the name and complete address of the person making the telephone request and print on the application, the name and complete address of the requestor, the relationship to the voter if other than the voter, and the date the request was made. Delivery of Ballots to Applicant The Municipal Clerk shall only deliver absentee ballots to an applicant by mail or to the applicant in

the registrars office The voter shall fill in his ballot in secret, then fold the ballot and deposit it in the envelope furnished by the registrar. After sealing the envelope, the voter shall swear to an affidavit printed on the back of the envelope containing the applicants signature. Seal and Initials of Clerk An absentee ballot application must have the

seal of the Municipal Clerk and be initialed by the Clerk or a deputy clerk. A copy of an absentee ballot application is not valid unless it is a copy provided by the Municipal Clerks Office and contains the original seal and initials of the Clerk or deputy clerk. Notarizing Applications Absentee ballot applications must be notarized or

sworn and subscribed to by another official authorized to witness absentee balloting/administer oaths. Except applications of voters who are temporarily or permanently disabled. Witnessed by a person eighteen (18) years of age or older, who does not have to be a registered voter of the municipality. Voter Receiving Assistance

If the voter has received assistance in marking his ballot, the person providing assistance must complete the CERTIFICATE OF PERSON PROVIDING VOTER ASSISTANCE, which is printed on the back of the absentee ballot envelope. Signatures of Elector and Attesting Witness On every envelope where the electors signature

and the signature of the attesting witness are required, the signatures must be across the flap of the envelope to insure the integrity of the ballot. Prohibitions It is illegal to hand deliver absentee ballots. Unless an absentee ballot is being voted in the Municipal Clerks office, it must be mailed by the clerk to the voter and the voter must return the voted

absentee ballot by mail. A person who is a candidate for public office may not be an attesting witness for any absentee ballot upon which that persons name appears. Absentee Voting Deadlines Municipal Clerks Office must be open from 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon the two (2) Saturdays immediately before each election. Deadline for in-person absentee voting: Saturday

before a Tuesday election, 12 noon. Deadline for receipt of absentee ballots returned by mail: Monday before a Tuesday election, 5:00 p.m.. Deadline for UOCAVA ballots: 7:00 p.m. on Election Day. Additional Responsibilities The Municipal Clerks Office must ensure: All voted absentee ballots are immediately placed and kept in a sealed ballot box,

Absentee ballots and applications are placed in the ballot box for the correct polling place, and All absentee ballots received after the deadline are marked with the date and time of receipt and properly preserved. Voter Photo Identification Any voter who casts an absentee ballot in the Municipal Clerks Office or who casts a ballot in person on Election Day must present a current and valid, acceptable form of

photo ID. Current means the photo ID has no expiration date at all, or was not issued more than ten (10) years prior to the date it is presented in the Clerks Office during absentee voting or in the polling place on Election Day. Valid means it does not appear to be a fake or forgery. Acceptable Photo ID 1. Drivers license; 2. Photo ID card issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity of the State

of Mississippi; 3. United States passport; 4. Employee photo ID card issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. government; 5. License to carry a pistol or revolver; 6. Tribal photo ID card; 7. Student ID card, issued by any accredited college, university or community or junior college in the State of Mississippi; 8. Mississippi Voter ID card; 9. Any photo ID issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S.

government or any state government, such as a drivers license issued by a state other than Mississippi. Absentee Voting with Voter ID A voter who casts an absentee ballot by mail, email or fax is NOT required to present or provide a copy of a photo ID when returning his/her voted absentee ballot. Voting with Photo ID If the voter presents:

An acceptable form of photo ID, Which fairly depicts the voter, and The name on the presented photo ID is substantially similar to the voters name as it appears in the pollbook, THEN the voter is entitled to cast a regular ballot. Voting with Photo ID

If the voter is UNABLE to: Present an acceptable form of photo ID, or The photo on the presented ID does not fairly depict the voter, or The name on the presented ID is not substantially similar to the voters name as it appears in the pollbook, THEN, the voter must be provided an affidavit ballot.

No voter is ever refused the right to vote, or turned away from the precinct because he/ she does not have an acceptable photo ID. Religious Objection Voters who have a religious objection to being photographed are NOT required to present photo ID; however, these voters MUST vote by an affidavit

ballot and, within five (5) business days after the Election, complete an Affidavit of Religious Objection in the Municipal Clerks Office for the affidavit ballot to be accepted and counted. Voter ID Affidavit Voters A voter who casts an affidavit ballot because the voter could not present an acceptable form of photo ID has five (5) business days after Election Day to present an acceptable photo ID to the Municipal Clerks Office.

A voter who casts an affidavit ballot because the voter has a religious objections to being photographed has five (5) business days after Election Day to sign an Affidavit of Religious Objection in the Municipal Clerks Office. Processing Voter ID Affidavit Ballots The Executive Committee or the Election Commission should provide the Municipal Clerk with a list of voter ID affidavit voters.

The Municipal Clerk should check off the voters names who present an acceptable form of photo ID within the five (5) business days after Election Day. Make a copy of the presented photo ID. Penalty for NOT Asking for Photo ID Any poll manager who fails to ask or require a voter to present an acceptable form of photo ID before casting a regular ballot shall be prosecuted for corrupt conduct.

Miss. Code Ann. 97-13-19: Penalty for corrupt conduct is imprisonment in the penitentiary for a term not exceeding two years. Miss. Code Ann. 23-15-269: Penalty for refusing or knowingly failing to perform any duty required by him by the election laws shall be fined not less that $25.00 nor more than $100.00 or imprisoned in the county jail not less than 10 days nor more than 90 days, or both. Poll Managers

The Executive Committee for the Primary Elections and the Election Commission for the General Election appoint a minimum of three (3) registered voters of the municipality to serve as poll managers at each precinct. Alternate poll managers should be appointed and trained so they are available in the event a poll manager is unable to serve on Election Day. Student Poll Worker Interns

Section 23-15-240, Miss. Code allows Junior and Senior High School students to be appointed as poll worker interns; this law allows teenagers to become more acquainted with their community, elections and their county elected officials. Student Interns must be

Recommended by a principal or other school official, At least 16 years of age at the time of the election, A resident of the county/municipality, and Enrolled in a public high school, accredited private school or legitimate home instruction program. Number of Poll Managers Election Officials may, in their discretion, appoint additional poll managers based on the number of registered voters in a given precinct.

Types of Poll Managers Receiving and Returning Manager Bailiff

Initialing/Alternate Initialing Manager Voting Machine: Opening/Closing Manager Alternate Poll Managers Voting Machine Training If the municipality is conducting the election using voting machines, at least twenty-one (21) days before each election, the Executive Committee for the Primary Election and the Election Commission for the General Election

must appoint persons to instruct poll managers in the use of voting machines. Poll Manager Training The Executive Committee for the Primary Election and the Election Commission for the General Election, in conjunction with the Municipal Clerk, is responsible for conducting poll manager training. All poll workers must have received training within 6 months of the election.

Training must be completed no later than five (5) days before the date of the election. Compensation of Poll Managers Poll Managers are paid a minimum of $75 per election. The manager who is designated as the Receiving and Returning Manager is entitled to an additional $10 for taking the boxes to the polling place and another $10 for returning the boxes after the election. The Receiving and Returning manager is also entitled to receive mileage for

each mile traveled in excess of ten (10). Municipal governing authorities may pay managers an additional amount not to exceed $50 per election. Poll Manager Training Materials The Secretary of States Office provides the following Poll Manager Training Materials: Mississippi Poll Manager Guide On-Line Poll Manager Training (available on DVD)

Municipal Election Handbook Materials may be downloaded from the Secretary of States website from any computer. Contact Information Mississippi Secretary of States Office Elections Division P.O. Box 136 Jackson, MS 39205 (601)576-2550

Elections Hotline (800)829-6786 www.sos.ms.gov

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