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Posts Tagged ‘ballot initiatives’

Statewide Ballot Initiative:  Resolution No. 47

Posted on: October 23rd, 2020 by elpayseu

In this series of posts, UM Voting Ambassadors are previewing what is on the Mississippi ballot, so that you understand the offices, the statewide ballot initiatives, and your choices as you prepare to cast your vote. In this post, Voting Ambassador Jaycee Brown shares about the Resolution No. 47, regarding statewide elected offices, one of three statewide initiatives on the ballot. For those voting out-of-state, please reference our State by State Voting Guide for information on your ballot.

Background

McLemore v. Hosemann, a federal lawsuit filed by four African-Americans on May 30, 2019, challenged the electoral requirement on the grounds that it was racially discriminatory and violated the Voting Rights Act. It aimed to block this law for the 2019 gubernatorial election; however, it was denied. This lawsuit was backed by the National Redistricting Foundation.

The amendment was introduced as House Concurrent Resolution 47 on February 17, 2020 and was passed to be certified for the ballot.

What’s on the Ballot?

House Concurrent Resolution No. 47 aims to remove the election law that requires a candidate for governor or elected state office to receive both the popular vote and the majority vote of the Mississippi House of Representatives.

This is how it’ll appear on the November 3, 2020 ballot:

“This amendment provides that to be elected Governor, or to any other statewide office, a candidate must receive a majority of the votes in the general election. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes, then a runoff election shall be held as provided by general law. The requirement of receiving the most votes in a majority of Mississippi House of Representatives districts is removed.”

VOTE FOR ONE

[] YES

[] NO

It’s important to focus on the last sentence because that’s essentially what you’re voting on.

Marking yes means that you support removing the requirement of receiving the most votes in a majority of Mississippi House of Representatives. You also support the establishment of a runoff election if no candidate receives a majority vote.

Marking no means that you oppose removing the above electoral vote requirement and establishing runoff elections for governor and state offices.

Source: https://ballotpedia.org/Mississippi_Ballot_Measure_2,_Remove_Electoral_Vote_Requirement_and_Establish_Runoffs_for_Gubernatorial_and_State_Office_Elections_Amendment_(2020)


For your reference:

Jaycee Brown

Statewide Ballot Initiatives: Medical Marijuana Initiative 65

Posted on: October 22nd, 2020 by elpayseu

In this series of posts, UM Voting Ambassadors are previewing what is on the Mississippi ballot, so that you understand the offices, the statewide ballot initiatives, and your choices as you prepare to cast your vote. In this post, Voting Ambassador Katelyn Winstead shares about the MS Ballot Initiative 65 and Alternative Measure 65A, regarding medical marijuana, one of three statewide initiatives on the ballot. For those voting out-of-state, please reference our State by State Voting Guide for information on your ballot.

Initiative 65 is a citizen-sponsored initiative designed to legalize marijuana for those with “debilitating illnesses” by amending the state constitution. Initiative 65A is an alternative initiative offered by the legislature, with many of the specifics to be worked out later. These options can be confusing for voters, so here is a breakdown of the alternative proposals.

So, what is the difference between Initiative 65 and 65A?

Initiative 65 – Less Restrictive

Both initiatives, if passed, will procure an amendment of the Mississippi State Constitution to legalize medical marijuana. The main difference between the two are the specifications laid out. Initiative 65 will allow patients to attain medical marijuana if they have one of the 22 stated qualifying conditions; patients would be able to have up to 2.5 oz at a time and the sales tax on medical marijuana will be in accordance with the state sales tax which is, as of 2020, 7%. Initiative 65 is projected to collect at least a few million dollars in revenue after assessing the first-year implementation costs. The initiative also states that the Mississippi Department of Health will oversee the medical marijuana program.

Initiative 65A – More Restrictive

Alternative 65A does not specify the qualifying conditions of patients, the limits of possession, tax percentage, nor the fiscal impact that it would have on the state. Alternative 65A does provide zoning laws, prohibiting any medical marijuana treatment center from being within 500 ft. of schools, churches, or child-care establishments. The alternative measure does not give any details as to who would oversee the program but affords that it will be administered under an appropriate state agency. Under 65A, smoking medical marijuana would be limited to only those patients who are terminally ill. If alternative measure 65A is passed, legislatures will have to put in a lot of work to narrow the specifications of the initiative and provide concrete regulations and procedures.

Provision Initiative 65 Alternative 65A
Number of qualifying conditions 22 specified; more may be established at a later date none specified
Possession limits 2.5 ounces at once none specified
Ability to smoke marijuana prohibited in public places restricted to terminally ill patients
Taxes on marijuana sales taxed at state sales tax rate (7% as of 2020) no tax rate specified
Cost for medical marijuana patient ID cards capped at $50 no cost specified
Administrating agency Mississippi Department of Health not specified
Deadline for medical marijuana cards to be issued August 15, 2021 no date specified

(Source: Ballotpedia, 10/22/2020)

What should I expect to see on the ballot?

   

(Source: Mississippi Today, 10/22/20)

On the ballot, you will see that you can first check either Initiative 65 or 65A or against both of the initiatives. If you are for Initiative 65, you will check the box that says either and then select the FOR Initiative 65 box. If you are for initiative 65A you will do the same thing, except you will select FOR Alternative Measure 65A after selecting either. If you are against the passage of both Initiative 65 and 65A, then you will simply select the AGAINST BOTH option.

For a comprehensive analysis of Initiative 65 and 65A, including arguments for each, fiscal analysis, and more check out:


For your reference:

Katelyn Winstead

Katelyn Winstead

Statewide Ballot Initiatives: State Flag

Posted on: October 20th, 2020 by elpayseu

In the coming posts, UM Voting Ambassadors will be previewing what is on the Mississippi ballot, so that you understand the offices, the statewide ballot initiatives, and your choices as you prepare to cast your vote. In this post, Voting Ambassador Nick Castellanos shares about the state flag referendum, one of three statewide initiatives on the ballot. For those voting out-of-state, please reference our State by State Voting Guide for information on your ballot.

History and Process

In June 2020, House Bill 1796 removed the former state flag, which was first instituted in 1894, 29 years after the civil war ended. The former state flag featured a smaller version of the confederate flag in the upper left corner, which eventually led to its removal in June of 2020. <Read more about the removal of the state flag here>

Criteria and Selection

Following House Bill 1796, a Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag was formed, which fielded designs from the public as long as they met the following criteria:
● Simple enough for a child to draw from memory
● Use meaningful symbolism
● Use two or three basic colors
● Be distinctive

The bill stated that:
“The new design for the Mississippi State Flag shall honor the past while embracing the promise of the future.”

The Ballot

The commission narrowed down 3,000 submissions to the following design, which will appear on the ballot like so:

Mississippi State Flag Design

Mississippi State Flag Design

Please vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on whether the following design shall be the official Mississippi State Flag

[ ] YES
[ ] NO

It is important to note that the referendum on the ballot does not involve reinstating the former state flag. If the referendum is voted down on election day, Nov 3rd, the commission will select another flag design, which will be voted on in 2021.


For your reference:

Nick Castellanos

Nick Castellanos