Do You Need an ID? (Most restrictive)

Mississippi's photo ID law was awaiting preclearance when the Supreme Court's Shelby decision was issued; the law took effect June 3, 2014. It had been approved by voters in a 2011 referendum and passed by the state legislature in 2012. Voters previously were not required to present any document to vote. Now, they must present one of 10 forms of federal or state-issued photo ID.

Without ID, a voter may cast a provisional ballot, which is counted if he returns with an ID in five days or signs an affidavit swearing that he has a religious objection to being photographed.

Do You Need an Excuse to Vote Absentee? (Restrictive)

Voters must provide an excuse to mail in an absentee ballot.

What if You Have a Felony Conviction? (Most restrictive)

Felons are prohibited from voting while in prison, on parole and on probation. Many felons are also prohibited from voting after their sentence. The following convictions result in permanent disenfranchisement: murder, rape, bribery, theft, arson, obtaining money or goods under false pretense, perjury, forgery, embezzlement, bigamy, armed robbery, extortion, felony bad check, felony shoplifting, larceny, receiving stolen property, robbery, timber larceny, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, statutory rape, carjacking, or larceny under lease or rental agreement. A 2012 law added voter fraud to the list. Those seeking to have their rights restored can petition their state representative to write a bill that allows that individual to vote. The bill must pass both houses and be signed by the governor.

Can You Vote In Person Before Election Day? (Most restrictive)

Mississippi does not allow early voting.



Absentee Voting Gets Easier

Nearly 17 percent of the U.S. electorate voted by mail in 2012

Voting Early More Often

36 states allow people to vote in person before Election Day

Who Loses the Right to Vote

All but two states have laws that keep felons from voting

Voter ID Laws Gain Momentum

But many are also being challenged in court

Recent Stories

Introducing “Ballot Watch”

Who's allowed to vote? And when? As the November midterms approach, find out how voting laws are changing state-by-state in our interactive database.

Where is Voter Discrimination the Worst?

Voting discrimination persists nationwide, but the worst offenders today are still southern states with a history of blocking minorities' access to the ballot, according to a new study by the National Commission on Voting Rights.

New Voter ID Laws Hit Setbacks

Courts are pushing back against laws in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Shelby decision. Several legal battles are still ahead.