Mover's Guide: Mississippi

August 10, 2010

Elections Division:  800-829-6786

I moved from the address at which I am registered.  What should I do?

I moved from another state.

If you moved to Mississippi from another state, you must register to vote in Mississippi to be able to vote.[1]  The last day to register in time to vote in the next election is thirty days before the election.[2]

If you moved from out of state, you are only eligible to register if you have been a resident of Mississippi and the county and municipality in which you want to vote for at least thirty days prior to the day of the election.[3]  But under federal law, if you move within thirty days of a presidential election, you are allowed to vote for President and Vice President in your former state of residence, either in person or by absentee ballot.[4]

I moved within Mississippi.

If you moved to a new address within the same county, you can transfer your registration by making a written request to update your address.[5]  If you moved to a new address in a different county, you should complete a new registration form to update your registration records.[6]  That form is available here: http://www.sos.ms.gov/links/elections/voter_information_center/tab1/Voter_Registration.pdf

The election is right around the corner and I never updated my registration from my previous address.  What should I do?

Many registered Mississippi voters who move are still entitled to cast a ballot that will be counted — even if they did not notify the appropriate election official about the move before Election Day.

Scenario One: New Address, but Same Polling Place

If you moved to a new address that is covered by the same polling place as your old address, you are allowed to vote at that polling place after confirming your change of address.  This is true regardless of how close to the election you moved.[7]

Scenario Two: New Address in Same County but New Polling Place

If you moved to a new address within the same county but in a different polling place, you are entitled to vote a provisional ballot at your new polling place.  You need to sign an affidavit, including your current address and stating that you believe you are registered to vote in the county in order to vote by provisional ballot.[8]  The provisional ballot will be counted if you are registered in the county and voted in the precinct in which you currently reside.[9]

Scenario Three: New Address in New County

If you moved to a new address in a different county, you must register to vote at your new address in the county before the registration deadline.[10]


[1] Miss. Code Ann. § 23-15-11 (West 2010).

[2] Miss. Code Ann. § 23-15-47(2)(a).

[3] Miss. Code Ann. § 23-15-11.

[4] 42 U.S.C. § 1973aa-1(e) (2010).

[5] Miss. Code Ann. § 23-15-13.

[6] See Elliott, 1994 Op. Att’y Gen. No. 0249 (May 25, 1994) 1994 WL 241037 (stating that local boards of election may purge from their rolls voters who move outside the county and implying that no duty to transfer this registration to the new county of residence exists.)

[7] 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg-6(e)(1) (2010).

[8] Miss. Code Ann. §§ 23-15-13, 23-15-573 (West 2010); Sautermeister, 2003 Op. Att’y Gen. No. 0497 (Sept. 26, 2003) 2003 WL 22348872.

[9] Miss. Code Ann. § 23-15-573(3)(b); Shepard, 2003 Op. Att’y Gen. No. 0345 (July 14, 2003) 2003 WL 21962292; Mississippi Secretary of State, County Election Handbook 42 (2005), available at http://www.sos.state.ms.us/elections/2005/HandBook/2005_County_Election_....

[10] See Miss. Code Ann. § 23-15-13; Mississippi Secretary of State, County Election Handbook 4 (2010), available at http://www.sos.ms.gov/links/elections/home/tab5/2010CountyElectionHandbook.pdf (noting that voters who move outside the county may be purged from the county voter rolls).