Prepare now for the August 4th Primary Elections! If registered, you can vote in either the Republican or Democrat primary but not both.
Find your polling place AND sample ballot at the Secretary of State’s POLLING PLACE LOCATOR. The Polling Place Locator not only provides your voting precinct but also Democrat and Republican Primary ballots for your address.
Plan now as information on local candidates is often difficult to find than for national or even state-wide candidates. Search candidate websites, the Sun Herald, the Clarion-Ledger, the Blessings of Liberty, and other local and state media sites and blogs for more information.
If you are not registered, don’t wait to register for the General Election on November 3rd. Residents must register at least 30 days prior to election day. Visit your county’s Circuit Clerk for more information.
The 2010 Census has forced redistricting and the location of your polling precinct and voting district may have changed. Visit the Secretary of State’s Polling Place Locator to confirm this information and see ballots for the upcoming election.
Harrison County has released Redistricting Information, a Reference Map, and has updated its Voter Precinct Locator. Specific information for other coastal Mississippi counties is available from their respective Circuit Clerks’ offices.
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.
Republican Gov. Phil Bryant will face a primary challenger in Mitch Young who filed his candidacy on February 26th. Little is known about Young who hails from Lamar County. Bryant is undoubtedly the favorite with $2.4 million of campaign funds already on hand not to mention a successful first term.
The Democrats will run 3 candidates in their primary: Robert Gray, Valerie Andrea Smartt Short, and Vicki Slater. Slater, a Madison attorney that has never held public office, appears to be the Democrat front-runner based on media reports.
Primary elections will be August 4th with the general election to follow on November 3rd.
With 2015 a state-wide election year, the upcoming session of the Mississippi Legislature is sure to be interesting. First, every member of the legislature and all state-wide office holders are up for re-election. Additionally, Initiative 42, the proposal to amend the state constitution to require fully funding MAEP, will be on the ballot and a possible alternative if passed by the Legislature.
With MAEP on the ballot, public education funding is certain to be a top issue for the legislature. The full MAEP formula has only been funded twice since adopted in 1997 (both times during election years) and, with Medicaid costs increasing, funding the full amount will require some combination of decreasing amounts for other services and higher education or raising taxes.
Tax relief is another political football and only the governor has proposed to give a tax credit to low to moderate income working families. The $5 state inspection sticker may also come up for consideration since it does not generate much revenue. Corporate taxes are also on the table; Mississippi is one of 13 states with a franchise tax that puts the state at a competitive disadvantage with other states in attracting new businesses.
With the scandals that have hit the Department of Corrections, Contract Reform will likely be another big topic this year. Tighter restrictions on no-bid contracts is likely to be politically popular this year.
Mark the calendar with these notable days in 2015:
- State Legislature Convenes: January 6th
- State Legislature Adjourns: April 6th
- Party Primary Election: August 4th
- Party Primary Runoff Election: August 25th
- General/Special Election: November 3rd
- Special Runoff Election: November 24th
For more information:
By gathering enough signatures, MAEP proponents have placed Initiative 42 on the 2015 General Election ballot. Per the Secretary of State press release, “Initiative #42 seeks to amend the State Constitution to require the full funding of education and grant the Chancery Court of Hinds County the power to enforce the full funding of education with appropriate injunctive relief.”
Currently, the Mississippi State Constitution entrusts education funding to the State Legislature. Section 201, states “The Legislature shall, by general law, provide for the establishment, maintenance and support of free public schools upon such conditions and limitations as the Legislature may prescribe.”
The 2015 ballot will simply read, “Should the state be required to provide for the establishment, maintenance and support of an adequate and efficient system of free public schools?”
However, Initiative 42 will amend Section 201 of State Constitution to read as follows: “To protect each child’s fundamental right to educational opportunity, the State shall, provide for the establishment, maintenance and support of an adequate and efficient system of free public schools. The chancery courts of this State shall have the power to enforce this section with appropriate injunctive relief.”
MAEP is a formula adopted by the State Legislature (MS Code § 37-151-7) in 1997 to define funding levels for public education in Mississippi. Of the $6 Billion 2014 state budget, education received about $2.4 Billion. Fully funding MAEP would require 10-15% more funding and has been fully funded twice since it’s adoption.
For further information:
The Mississippi Gulf Coast will feature runoff elections on Tuesday, November 25th for Jackson County Sheriff and Harrison County Circuit Court Judge (District 02, Place 2).
In Jackson County, Mike Ezell will face Scott McIlrath and, in the Harrison County Circuit Court race, Chris Schmidt will face Robert Fant Walker.
To find your polling place, CLICK HERE.