Mississippi Code Title 23. Elections § 23-15-911. Keeping and examining ballot boxes

(1)(a) When the returns for a box and the contents of the ballot box and the conduct of the election have been canvassed and reviewed by the county election commission in the case of general elections or the county executive committee in the case of primary elections, all the contents of the box required to be placed and sealed in the ballot box by the poll managers shall be replaced therein by the election commission or executive committee, as the case may be, and the box shall be forthwith resealed and delivered to the circuit clerk, who shall safely keep and secure the same against any tampering.  At any time within twelve (12) days after the canvass and examination of the box and its contents by the election commission or executive committee, as the case may be, any candidate or his or her representative authorized in writing by him or her shall have the right of full examination of the box and its contents upon three (3) days' notice of his or her application therefor served upon the opposing candidates.  The service of notice shall be provided to each opposing candidate by delivering a copy personally to each candidate, or by performing two (2) of the following:

(i) By leaving a copy at each candidate's usual place of residence with a family member, who shall be no less than sixteen (16) years of age and, who resides in the candidate's residence;

(ii) By email or other electronic means, with receipt deemed upon transmission;  or

(iii) By mailing a copy of the notice by registered or certified mail that is addressed to each opposing candidate at that candidate's residence with receipt deemed mailing.

(b) If service of notice cannot be made to any opposing candidate, then notice may be posted on the door of each candidate's usual place of abode.  If any candidate's usual place of residence is a multi-family dwelling, a copy of the notice must be mailed to the candidate or candidates by United States first-class mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested.  Proof of service of notice upon any opposing candidate shall be made to the circuit clerk within three (3) days before a full examination of the ballot box may be conducted.

(c) The examination shall be conducted in the presence of the circuit clerk or his or her deputy who shall be charged with the duty to see that none of the contents of the box are removed from the presence of the clerk or in any way tampered with.  Upon the completion of the examination the box shall be resealed with all its original contents inside.  And if any contest or complaint before the court shall arise over the box, it shall be kept intact and sealed until the court hearing and another ballot box, if necessary, shall be furnished for the precinct involved.

(2) The provisions of this section allowing the examination of ballot boxes shall apply in the case of an election contest regarding the seat of a member of the state Legislature.  In such a case, the results of the examination shall be reported by the applicable circuit clerk to the Clerk of the House of Representatives or the Secretary of the Senate, as the case may be.


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