Mississippi official: Voters cannot change absentee votes on Election Day

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DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. — A tweet from the president urging people to change their vote before Election Day may have caused some confusion in Mississippi.

Mr. Trump tweeted Tuesday morning, “Strongly Trending (Google) since immediately after the second debate is CAN I CHANGE MY VOTE? This refers changing it to me,” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. “The answer in most states is YES. Go do it. Most important Election of your life!”

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution only a handful of states allow people to change their votes. 

Mississippi used to be one of them, but COVID-19 restrictions have changed things this year.

According to the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office, due to election law changes, that vote now cannot be changed. 

The Mississippi Secretary of State’s office states on its website, “Absentee ballots will now be the final vote, which means those who vote absentee may not appear on Election Day and cast a regular ballot.”

Danny Klein, chairman of the DeSoto County Election Commission, said he thinks the change will speed up the voting process. 

“They should get it right the first time,” Klein said.

Klein said DeSoto County had seen voters change their vote in the past.

“Oh yes and it was perfectly legal,” Klein said. “But the difference is, we had the absentees there at the precinct, we checked the poll books to make sure they didn’t vote in person. And if they voted in person before, they wouldn’t even open that absentee, they would just write on his absentee or hers, reject it, and the person voted in person.  It wasn’t a big deal. Now the absentees don’t go out to the precincts.”

There’s not technically any early voting in Mississippi, but people can vote absentee before Election Day. Mississippians in DeSoto County were lined up at the Hernando courthouse to vote absentee Tuesday.

So far election officials say about 10,000 people have voted absentee in DeSoto County, on track to double the 6,000 who voted absentee in 2016.

Klein said about 1,800 of DeSoto County’s absentee ballots have been mailed in.

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