Hosemann unveils online voter info

By NIKKI SMITH,

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann visited the Forrest County Circuit Clerk’s office last week in correlation to Voter Registration Month to unveil a new online feature that will allow Mississippi residents to access their voting information with a click of a mouse.

Hosemann said the most common questions he hears as Election Day nears are, “Am I registered to vote?” and “Where do I vote?”

With this new feature, Y’all Vote, those looking to verify their registration status can access the information on line in under a minute. The website, yallvote.sos.ms.gov, also prompts voters who are already registered but have recently moved to another place within the state of Mississippi to update their address and receive information about their new polling place.

“If you are already a registered voter, ensuring your address is correct in our database is just as critical as registering for the first time,” Hosemann said. “Your address determines your polling place, and voting in the correct polling place determines whether your ballot counts.”

According to Hosemann, Y’all Vote makes the process of changing information quicker and will help ensure that voter rolls are correct, which will make the lines move faster at each precinct.

Hosemann said approximately 100,000 voters change their address in a year.

This feature streamlines the process of changing addresses and shows users where their polling place is located, which Hosemann said could help increase voter turnout in upcoming elections.

“This is a great step forward for Mississippi,” he said. “We’re making it as easy as possible to cast a ballot.”

The new tool requires a user to enter their name, county of residence, date of birth and the last four digits of their social security number to locate their information in the Statewide Elections Management System.

“If you are already a registered voter, ensuring your address is correct in our database is just as critical as registering for the first time,” Hosemann said. “Your address determines your polling place, and voting in the correct polling place determines whether your ballot counts.”

Search results list four name and address combinations, requiring the voter to choose the correct one to move forward, as a security feature to protect Mississippi residents’ information.

Residents who are found in the database are notified and directed to their polling place. Residents who are not found in the database after three attempts are directed to their Circuit Clerk for more information.

Alternatively, voters who find their name paired with a previous address are given the option to update their information online.

The voter must be located in the Mississippi Department of Public Safety database to change his or her address. One can access this by providing his or her name, address, date of birth and driver’s license or identification number exactly as the information appears on a Mississippi-issued license or ID.

Registered voters who move out of state may also cancel their Mississippi voting registration on Y’all Vote.

“Our military men and women serving at home and abroad are fighting for freedoms we enjoy as Americans, including the precious right to vote,” Governor Phil Bryant said in a press release from the Secretary of State’s office. “One way to honor their service is to register to vote.”

“Governance begins at the ballot box, so while we have a lull in statewide elections, every voting age citizen who is eligible should make it a priority to register and ensure their registration information is correct,” Hosemann said.

According to Hosemann, approximately 1.8 million people are registered to vote in Mississippi. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the voting age population to be about 2.26 million. So far, Y’all Vote has more than 34,000 page views, and more than 1,100 Mississippi registered voters have updated their information online since the new website was launched.

For more information, visit yallvote.sos.ms.gov.