2015 Constitutional Amendment Ballot Language [Click to view larger]
The biggest issue on the November ballot is the proposed state constitutional amendment for public school funding. With competing alternatives on the ballot, Initiative 42 and Initiative 42A, voters will make two choices: whether to amend the state constitution at all and, if approved, whether to amend with the language of Initiative 42 or Initiative 42A.
Every voter with vote on BOTH issues regardless of whether they vote “Yes” or “No” to amend the constitution. In the language of the ballot, voters will first choose “for approval of either initiative” or “against both initiative[s].” In the event “approval of either initiative” receives a majority of the vote, all voters must vote on the second issue “for Initiative Measure No. 42” or “for Alternative Measure No. 42 A.”
Geoff Pender filed the following report in The Clarion-Ledger to describe the ballot approval process and the constitutional amendment choices:
Gov. Phil Bryant on Wednesday approved the ballot for the Nov. 3 general election, including two dueling constitutional amendments on school funding.
Voters will have to pay attention to their ballots in November – it gets a little tricky around the education funding initiatives.
“It is a complicated ballot, because we have two votes (on the initiatives),” Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said. “I trust voters will read both of those explanations on the ballot and make an informed decision.”
Mississippi’s 8 statewide offices are on the 2015 election ballot and all 8 incumbents are running for re-election with at least 1 challenger in either the primary or general election if not both.
- Governor: See 2015 Candidates for Governor
- Lieutenant Governor: See 2015 Candidates for Lieutenant Governor
- Attorney General: See 2015 Candidates for Attorney General
- Auditor: See 2015 Candidates for State Auditor
- Secretary of State: Incumbent Republican Delbert Hosemann will face Democrat Charles E. Graham in the general election.
- Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner: Incumbent Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith will face Democrat Addie Lee Green in the general election.
- Insurance Commissioner: Incumbent Republican Mike Chaney will face fellow Republican John Mosely in the primary election.
- Treasurer: Incumbent Republican Lynn Fitch will face fellow Republican David McRae in the primary election.
The qualifying deadline for the 2015 state election is February 27th but few candidates have candidates have entered. Some of the significant questions surround the statewide offices:
- Who will be the Democrat Candidate for Governor? Attorney General Jim Hood is a front-runner but he has indicated little interest.
- Who will run for Lieutenant Governor? Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann has contemplated challenging incumbent Tate Reeves.
- Who will be running for Attorney General? Will incumbent Jim Hood attempt reelection?
- Will Stacey Pickering run for reelection as State Auditor? Republican challengers Mary Hawkins Butler (Madison Mayor) and Sen. Michael Watson (Pascagoula) have already expressed interest.
A wildcard in the 2015 elections is Sen. Chris McDaniel. He is thought to be a credible Republican challenger for Attorney General but has also indicated his interest in Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State. However, McDaniel may be more set on federal office and wait to challenge U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo for the 4th Congressional District in 2016.
The 2015 Election will be November 3rd with any party primaries 3 month prior on August 4th.
For More Information:
Neither Thad Cochran nor Chris McDaniel earned “50% +1” of the vote in the June 3rd primary election so the Republican Party will conduct a runoff election June 24th. In accordance with MS Code § 23-15-305, a primary candidate must have a majority of the vote cast to represent their party in the primary election. For an interesting history on the provision, read the Washington Post’s “Runoff elections a relic of the Democratic South.”
The Clarion-Ledger identified the following rules for runoff elections in their June 4th report:
- Voters who didn’t vote in Tuesday’s primary election can vote in the June 24 runoff election
- If a person voted in the Democratic primary Tuesday, he or she can’t vote in the June 24th Republican runoff or vice versa
- If a voter voted in the Republican primary, the voter can vote in the Republican runoff
A voter in the Democrat primary cannot participate in the Republican primary runoff due to provisions of MS Code § 23-15-575. This statute states, “No person shall be eligible to participate in any primary election unless he intends to support the nominations made in the primary in which he participates.” By voting in the Democrat Primary, the voter has already pledged their General Election vote to the Democrat nominee.
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann simplified the information above on the Paul Gallo Radio Show by stating, “Let’s put it this way, people who voted in the Democratic primary, they’re all about 100,000 of them, they can’t vote in the Republican primary. Everybody else can. . . Everyone who didn’t vote. . . have at it.” This presumes that the voter was eligible and registered to vote for the June 3rd primary.
For more information:
The Mississippi Secretary of State has posted sample ballots for the 2013 Republican and Democrat Primaries. You can only vote in one Primary (Democrat or Republican) but, in Mississippi, you can vote in either one.
Be familiar with the ballots and the candidates before you go to the polls on June 3rd:
While candidates are listed for all 4 of Mississippi’s Congressional Districts, Gulf Coast residents can only vote for a 4th Congressional District Candidate.