On Tuesday, voters in two Southern states will head to the polls in the Republican presidential primary. Mississippi, along with neighboring Alabama, will vote in a contest crucial to the future of all four remaining candidates. Here's what's at stake, how the process works and the current state of the race.
* Mississippi has 40 delegates to the Republican National Convention. States with a similar number of delegates include Wisconsin, Utah and Arkansas.
* Mississippi consists of four congressional districts, each with three delegates. If a candidate wins 50 percent of votes in a district, he wins all three delegates. Otherwise, delegates are awarded proportionally to each candidate with at least 15 percent of the district total.
* A total of 25 delegates are at-large and allocated according to the statewide vote. If one candidate tallies 50 percent of the statewide vote, he wins them all. Otherwise, delegates are awarded proportionally to each candidate with at least 15 percent of the statewide total.
* The remaining three delegates are party leaders and are unpledged at the convention.
* Mississippi holds an open primary. Voters can select whichever ballot they prefer on Election Day.
* Eight names will appear on the Republican ballot, but only seven are the major Republican presidential candidates. Herman Cain is not on the ballot, but former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson is despite the fact Johnson withdrew from the race in January to run for the Libertarian Party nomination.
* Absentee ballots must be received by the Circuit Clerk by 5 p.m. today. Military service members voting via absentee ballot have until 7 p.m Tuesday.
* Recent polls show a close race. A Rasmussen poll released last week put Mitt Romney in the lead with 35 percent. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich were tied at 27 percent each, with Ron Paul at 6 percent. The latest Public Policy Polling result had Gingrich at 33 percent, Romney at 31 percent, Santorum at 27 percent and Paul at 7 percent.
- Republican National Convention