Diversity and Community Engagement

The University of Mississippi

UM Votes: Gear up for the 2021 Municipal Elections

In this blog post, Voting Ambassador Jaycee Brown shares information on local municipal elections, how you can learn about candidates, timelines, and more!

“Every election is determined by the people who show up.” -Larry J. Sabato

We experienced a dynamic Presidential Election last fall. We saw millions of people exercise their right to vote during the challenging times of COVID-19. The data is still being collected, but we know that voter turnout was high and historical.

Now it’s time to bring that same passion and energy to our local elections because municipal offices affect our lives on a daily basis. Our cities have primary oversight of policing, K-12 schools, affordable housing, and public transportation. They’re directly responsible for serving the community. They decide what issues to prioritize and how to approach them.

Due to the lower turnout in local elections, that means your vote matters even more! Some of these elections come down to a few votes. In 2017, a Virginia state legislative election tied.

Control of the House of Delegates was determined by drawing a name out of a bowl.

In the 2018 elections, the voting rate at The University of Mississippi waas 27.5% which was an increase from 2014. However, we can do better. I challenge you to know who’s on the ballot, explore their platforms, even grab a friend to learn about this important election with you.

Finding local election information can be difficult and it varies by city.

Here are some helpful tips from Ballotpedia for your search:

  1. Use a variety of search terms (e.g. city council, alderman, mayor, local election, municipal, +your voting city/town)
  2. Read local news sources (the local newspaper could be a great starting point because they usually interview candidates for stories)
  3. Try direct outreach (e.g. calling city clerk)

This Secretary of State Municipal Packet has more information and resources for municipalities (pages 344-382), including the contact information for the city office and the list of those holding offices.

How can you get involved?

  • Get registered for the general election
  • Research candidates
  • Sign up for voting text reminders (Text @32h8c3 to 81010)
  • Phone Bank with MS Votes
  • Apply to be a 2021-22 UM Voter Ambassador

Election Dates:

  • April 6, 2021: Municipal Primary Election
  • April 27, 2021: Municipal Primary Runoff Election
  • June 8, 2021: Municipal General Elections

Although the registration deadline has passed for the primary election on April 6th, there is still time to register for the municipal general elections. The deadline to register is May 10th.

If you need assistance with getting registered or have any other questions, feel free to contact our voter ambassadors at engaged@olemiss.edu.

 


For your reference:

Jaycee Brown