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Here's what you need to know about absentee voting in DeSoto County

There are a few ways you can vote absentee, but there are some crucial steps you need to take to make sure your vote counts

HERNANDO, Mississippi — With the general election less than three weeks away, it is time for some DeSoto County voters to decide if they will need to vote absentee. The DeSoto County Circuit Clerk advised it is better to request your ballot sooner rather than later. 

"You need to call the office," Thompson said. "We take your information; we’re processing the ballots daily so when we get the information, we mail the ballots out the next day."

The qualifications needed to be met for a mailed absentee ballot in Mississippi include being 65 years or older, a student away at school, being physically disabled, or being out of the county for the entire 45 days of absentee voting. You must mail back the ballot to the DeSoto County Circuit Clerk for it to be counted. 

"No proof is required when we issue you the ballot," Thompson said. "You sign an affidavit, and you choose one of those reasons."

It is very important to note that the ballot itself and the envelope it comes in must be signed by the voter and notarized. DeSoto County voter Betty Sheffield-Fargo voted absentee by mail, and she advises others needing to vote absentee to plan ahead. 

"You have to plan to know where a notary is, and you have to mail it," Sheffield-Fargo said.

You can also vote absentee in-person at the DeSoto County courthouse in Hernando. You need to have proof of identification and have a reason similar to voting by mail to qualify. 

Thompson explained being cautious of COVID-19 is not, by law, a valid reason to vote absentee. If you are under a doctor mandated quarantine or caring for someone in quarantine, you can qualify for a temporarily disabled absentee ballot which requires a witness signature. 

"All of the absentee ballots other than temporary disabled or disabled have to be notarized," Thompson said.

Sheffield-Fargo reiterated the importance of dates during this time, so your vote is counted. 

"It’s so important to decide if you need to get that absentee ballot and of course it has to be postmarked by November 3rd or it will not be counted," Sheffield-Fargo said.