Five of Mississippi’s 82 counties are reporting high rates of absentee voting, the state’s top elections official said Tuesday. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said about 5 percent to 6 percent of voters usually cast absentee ballots. Hosemann said the rate so far this year is nearly 14 percent in Noxubee County, 11 percent in Quitman County, 8 percent in Claiborne County, 7 percent in Tallahatchie County and 6 percent in Benton County. All five are Democratic-leaning counties.
“High absentee ballots are always cause for concern with our agency,” Hosemann, a Republican said in a news release. “Now that Mississippi has passed voter ID, absentee balloting has the highest potential for fraud in our state.”
Noxubee County Circuit Clerk Freda Phillips did not immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday.
Hosemann said he’s asking circuit clerks to give him copies of all absentee ballots after the Aug. 4 party primaries for state and county offices.