2015 Mississippi Election Information

The 2015 primary election will be August 4th and the general election will be November 3rd. The deadline to register to vote for either election is 30 days prior to election day.

Candidates on the ballot:

Issues on the ballot:

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Push for legalized marijuana in Mississippi has begun

If Mississippi for Cannabis can obtain 107,216 signatures by October, the legalization of marijuana would be placed on the 2016 ballot in Mississippi. The Mississippi for Cannabis registered the initiative with the Secretary of State as Initiative 48. If Initiative 48 reaches the ballot and is passed, it would amend the state constitution to regulate the drug like alcohol, the Governor would also be required to pardon all “persons convicted of nonviolent cannabis crimes,” and the first 3 years of tax revenues would be earmarked for education.

The following specific language would be added to the state constitution:

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2015 Ballot Battle Over MAEP Set

With proponents obtaining enough signatures to place Initiative 42 on the 2015 Ballot, the State Legislature acted to create an alternative, HCR 9 or Initiative 42A, which the House and the Senate passed this week.

If approved by voters in November, Initiative 42 would change the Mississippi Constitution to read as follows (underlined and struck-through text indicates added or deleted language):

SECTION 201. To protect each child’s fundamental right to educational opportunity, The Legislature the State shall, by general law, provide for the establishment, maintenance and support of an adequate and efficient system of free public schools upon such conditions and limitations as the Legislature may provide. The chancery courts of this State shall have the power to enforce this section with appropriate injunctive relief.

Proponents say that this constitutional amendment will require fully funding K-12 education in Mississippi per the MAEP formula that was adopted in 1997 to determine funding. Opponents say that Initiative 42 strips the Legislature of control over education and places that control in the hands of the Chancery Court of Hinds County.

Initiative 42A would change the constitution as follows:

SECTION 201. The Legislature shall, by general law, provide for the establishment, maintenance and support of an effective system of free public schools.

Proponents of this alternative argue that this will keep control of education in the State Legislature and focus on results (i.e. the insertion of “an effective system”). Opponents say Initiative 42A only confuses voters and does not allow for a simple “up or down vote” on Initiative 42 by the people of Mississippi.

To pass, a proposal must win a majority and at least 40% of the total votes cast. With competing proposals, passage of either is more difficult. If voters are uneducated before going to the polls, the ballot could also be very confusing.

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Right to Hunt & Fish on November Ballot

In addition to the elected officials that are on the ballot Nov. 4th, there is one statewide ballot measure proposing a constitutional amendment to preserve hunting and fishing as rights in the State of Mississippi.

The language on the ballot will read as follows:

This proposed constitutional amendment establishes hunting, fishing and the harvesting of wildlife, including by the use of traditional methods, as a constitutional right subject only to such regulations and restrictions that promote wildlife conservation and management as the Legislature may prescribe by general law.

Yes ___
No ___

Very little opposition has been raised to the initiative (17 other states have similar amendments) but PETA and the National Council of State Legislatures believe hunting is on the decline although Mississippi is not one of those states.  The amendment will not affect the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks from licensing and regulating but is expected to preserve outdoor space for hunting and fishing.

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