Let People Vote

Take action: Tell lawmakers to support no-excuse early voting and online voter registration.


Mississippi has a long and troubled history with regard to voting rights. 

Shortly after the Civil War and during the Reconstruction Era, a lack of federal government oversight allowed Mississippi and other Southern states to institute Jim Crow laws that effectively took the right to vote away from millions of African Americans. These discriminatory laws lasted from the late 19th century up until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Minorities trying to exercise their constitutional right to vote were faced with illegal literacy tests, poll taxes, and in many cases, violence. In 1965, the Voting Rights Act forced Southern states to do away with these racially biased voter laws. Within five years, the number of registered black votersin Mississippi rose from 7% to 67%.

However, there is much work to be done to right the wrongs of the past and ensure greater participation in the democratic process. The vestiges of discriminatory voting laws still remain in Mississippi and other Southern states. Measures such as allowing voters to register online and ensuring the right to vote by early ballot for all voters help legitimize elections by increasing voter turnout.

This toolkit provides an overview of the issues, fact sheets, sample social media posts, and talking points for you to use in your activism.

Download the Toolkit Now!

How to Get Involved

A step-by-step guide to take action. 

Step by Step Guide

1. Meet with your state legislator

Ask them to actively support voting reform.

Find your legislator 

2. Urge local officials, particularly county circuit clerks and election commissioners, to release public statements in support of these key voting reforms.

Some circuit clerks have opposed no-excuse early voting on grounds of increased workloads. Help them see that eliminating excuses will reduce the paperwork burden and save time and money.

3. Meet with elected officials and their staff, gather and deliver petition signatures, speak out at public meetings and town halls, organize protests, make phone calls, and send letters to legislators.

It’s very important that state elected officials, particularly those that serve on the House Apportionment and Elections Committee and on the Senate Elections Committee, hear from you. Gather petition signatures in high-traffic public locations and at local events like farmers’ markets, as well as canvass for these signatures by going door-to-door in your neighborhood, discussing the importance of early voting and online registration with members in your community.

4. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to raise public awareness.

Highlight how these voting reforms expand access for all Mississippians.

About Online Voter Registration

Learn more about why online voting is a step forward for Mississippi's voters.

Let People Vote Online Voting

Mississippi does not have online registration. Under the current system, potential voters are required to complete a paper registration form and either mail it in or take it to the circuit clerk’s office directly. This process creates a greater possibility for errors—either when the individual is filling in theforms or when a worker is inputting the data from the form—than a process that allows the applicant to input the information directly.

Online voter registration helps ease the burden on election officials. Applicants entering their own data would increase efficiency and decrease costs in the circuit clerk ’s office. As it stands, circuit clerk employees lose valuable time inputting the information of registration applications.

An online mechanism already exists for previously registered voters via the Secretary of State’s office. The system for online registration already exists in the form of the Y’all Vote website set up by the Secretary of State’s office. This website allows current voters to update their information online. Since there is already a website in place for voters to change their registration, expanding the system to include online voter registration would be cost effective.

Online voter registration would lead to more registered voters. The ease of registering to vote online would encourage many voters to do so, particularly young voters. According to 2016 Census data, 78% of Mississippians are registered to vote, but only 55% of those 18 to 24 are registered. Allowing first -time voters to register online would likely increase voter participation, particularly for younger voters.

Online voter registration is cost effective. Studies have shown that states experience a significant reduction in costs after implementing online voter registration. When Arizona implemented online voter registration, its registration costs dropped from 83 cents per paper registration to 3 cents per online registration (Source: National Conference of State Legislatures).Most states recoup the implementation costs of an online registration system within the first two years

Social Media Activism

Use these sample social media posts to mobilize your followers.

Social Media_ Let People Vote

For Twitter

  • Voting should be an accessible, clear, and safe process for all. Mississippi needs online voter registration. #letpeoplevote
  • Online registration should be available for all Mississippi voters. #letpeoplevote
  • More registered voters means more voter turnout and a more legitimate democratic process. Mississippi needs online voter registration. #letpeoplevote
  • We have online registration in MS to change and update voter information. Why not for 1st time voters? #letpeoplevote
  • MS needs more young people voting. We need online voter registration for everyone. #letpeoplevote
  • Online voter registration helps MS leap into the 21st century. #letpeoplevote

For Facebook

  • Voting should be an accessible, clear, and safe process for all. Mississippi needs online voter registration.
  • Mississippi allows people to update or change voter registration online. Shouldn’t we have this option for first-time voters to register online?
  • Mississippi has one of the lowest percentages of young people registered to vote. Let’s make the process easier by allowing first time voters to register online.
  • Young adults do everything online. Why not allow them to register to vote online, too?
  • Online registration reduces the number of errors in voter registration. Let’s allow anyone who wants to register to vote have the option of filling out the application online.
  • It is easier to open a Facebook account than to register to vote in Mississippi. We need online voter registration now.