Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson joined fellow members of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) in observing September as National Voter Registration Month.
During the month of September, the Secretary of State’s office, along with government agencies and organizations across the country, will promote the importance of voting and the significance of keeping voter registration information up-to-date.
“The right to vote is one of the greatest liberties in our country,” said Watson. “In 2020 alone, more than 113,000 Mississippians registered to vote.”
The Statewide Election Management System (SEMS) reported roughly 31,000 newly registered voters since Jan. 1.
“As the state’s Chief Elections Officer, it’s my responsibility to ensure ALL eligible Mississippians exercise their right to vote,” Watson said. “That’s why we are more than excited to participate in this national initiative to promote educational resources and build an informed voting population.”
NASS members established September as National Voter Registration Month in 2002 as a non-partisan means of encouraging voter participation and increasing awareness about state requirements and deadlines for voting. This year, Sept. 28 will be highlighted by NASS and other voter outreach groups as National Voter Registration Day.
In 2020, over 1.5 million people used National Voter Registration Day to register or update their registration, making it the largest NVRD in history.
U.S. Census data shows that 66.8 percent of eligible citizens over 18 voted in the 2020 presidential election, making last year’s turnout the highest of the 21st century. For the 2018 midterm elections, 53.4 percent of eligible citizens over 18 voted—a historic high for a midterm year.
As a reminder, to register to vote in Mississippi, you must be:
- A resident of Mississippi and the county, city, or town for 30 days prior to the election;
- At least 18 years old (or will be 18 by the date of the next General Election);
- Not declared mentally incompetent by a court; and,
- Not convicted of a disenfranchising crime as defined by Section 241 of the Mississippi Constitution or by Attorney General Opinion, unless pardoned, rights of citizenship restored by the Governor or suffrage rights restored by the Legislature.
The Secretary of State’s Office serves as the primary, trusted source for election information. Visit our Y’all Vote website (www.yallvote.ms) to download a voter registration application and learn more about the overall voting process. The website features a variety of helpful resources, such as a step-by-step guide to absentee voting and contact information for county election officials.