The other kind of midterms: How to vote

Posted on Sep 21 2018 - 5:50am by Daniel Payne

The midterm elections are less than two months away, and it’s time to plan to vote in November.

The Nov. 6 election will usher in new legislators to the United States Senate and House of Representatives. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives and one-third of those in the Senate will be up for election.

In Mississippi, both Senate seats are up for grabs. U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith will try to defend her seat from challengers Chris McDaniel, Mike Espy and Tobey Bartee, while incumbent U.S. Senator Roger Wicker will face State Senator David Baria, Shawn O’Hara and Danny Bedwell.

The race for Mississippi’s First Congressional District will include incumbent Trent Kelly, Randy Wadkins and Tracella Lou O’Hara Hill. The ballot will also include positions on Courts of Appeals.

Before voting in these races, you must register to vote.

Completing your registration will depend on the location of your legal residence. As a college student, you may either vote in your home state or the state you reside in during the semester, but you may not be registered in more than one state.

Registering to vote in Mississippi is simple.

To be eligible to vote in Mississippi, you must be a U.S. citizen, 18 years old by or on election day and have been a legal resident for at least 30 days. If you have been convicted of certain crimes or adjudicated as mentally incompetent, you are not eligible to vote in Mississippi.

If you are eligible to vote in Mississippi and have not already registered, you must complete a voter registration form before you vote. Along with the form, you need to prove your identity or residency. You may do this with any valid driver’s license or a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows your name and address in Lafayette County.

You may return the completed form either by mail or in person to the circuit clerk’s office, which is located in the courthouse in the middle of the Square. The registration form and proof of residency must be submitted by Oct. 8 to vote in the midterms.

Once those forms are completed and submitted, you will be ready to vote on Nov. 6 as long as you have a valid photo ID. You can find your polling place here.

If your legal residence is in another state, you may register for an absentee ballot. The regulations and requirements vary by state, but most states require voters to mail in a form before the election. You can find more information and print your absentee ballot at

No matter where you intend to vote, plan to register now so your voice can be heard in November.