Thursday, February 23, 2023
Candidate Qualifying Clarification
JACKSON, Miss – The Mississippi Secretary of State's Office has received numerous questions as to the procedures for qualifying candidates for the 2023 Election. To ensure Mississippians receive accurate information, a few candidate qualifying clarifications are noted below.
An individual who chooses to seek election as a partisan candidate must file with the respective party office all qualifying paperwork. Independent candidates must file all qualifying documents with the Mississippi Secretary of State's Office. After the qualifying deadline, State Executive Committees are required to forward all candidates' statements of intent to the Mississippi Secretary of State's Office. (Miss. Code Ann. §§ 23-15-299(3), 23-15-299(4)(b), 23-15-359(3))
The respective party executive committee will determine the qualifications for those seeking political party nominations for the primary elections while the appropriate election commission will review the qualifications of those who have obtained the political party nomination or have qualified as an independent for the general election. ((Miss. Code Ann. § 23-15-359(9))
The Statement of Economic Interest is a requirement by the Mississippi Ethics Commission. The Mississippi Secretary of State's Office has never used the Statement of Economic Interest as part of its process in qualifying candidates. Statutes pertaining to the penalties for failure to submit a Statement of Economic Interest do not provide for disqualification as a penalty. (Miss. Code Ann. § 25-4-29; § 25-4-31)
On the contrary, campaign finance requirements set forth in statute do allow for disqualification as a penalty for failure to file in some circumstances. (Miss. Code Ann. § 23-15-211; § 23-15-811)
For trusted information regarding Mississippi elections, please contact our Elections Division at 800-829-6786 or ElectionsAnswers@sos.ms.gov.