Sunday, May 14, 2017

MS Primary System Prompts Voter Complaints

Mississippi’s Primary system caused consternation among some Voters during Municipal Primaries last week.

Ward 2’s Voters faced a choice: cast a vote in the contested Republican Primary to select a City Council Representative or cast a vote in the Democratic Primary to select the City’s next Mayor.

It was a choice many voters didn’t appreciate.

Poll Workers and other Election Officials reported widespread Voter Dissatisfaction last Tuesday during Primary Elections.

“I had that complaint all day, but there’s really nothing you can do about it,” said Mike Maynard, Chairman of the Republican Municipal Executive Committee in Tupelo.

Neither the Ward 2 nor the Mayor’s Office are contested in the General Election. That means Primaries offered Voters the only opportunity to make their Voices heard in the Race, a fact that likely heightened Voter anger.

“That’s so messed up. We should be able to vote for the mayor and the councilman regardless of party affiliation,” wrote one Local Resident on a Facebook page dedicated to the Ward 2 neighborhood of Joyner. On the same social media page, another Resident wrote, “Voters should be able to vote in all elections paid for with tax money.”

Poll workers told the Daily Journal that many married couples chose to split the difference, with one spouse casting a Ballot in the Democratic Primary and the spouse other casting a Ballot in the Republican Primary,

One of the Candidates on last week’s Ballot, incumbent Mayor Jason Shelton, shares the frustration. “The fact that you have to choose, one or the other, is just not living up to the ideals of democracy,” Shelton said. The Mayor was hesitant, however, to endorse any specific solution without further study.

In the traditional sense of the term, Mississippi does have Open Primaries.

Residents don’t identify with a Political Party during Voter Registration and on Primary day may choose any Party’s Primary to participate in. That’s different from some States which restrict Party Primaries to Voters Registered with that Party.

Maynard believes that confusion often exists about what is happening during a Primary race. “What people can’t understand is that there’s two distinct elections going on at the sames time,” Maynard said. “The Republicans are electing their candidates and the Democrats are electing their candidates.”

He acknowledged that some tough choices can occur and that Party Primaries can at times serve as de facto General Elections. But that is up the Candidates on the Ballot, including Shelton and Ward 2 incumbent Lynn Bryan.

“The candidates choose which party they want to run under,” Maynard said. “Lynn chose to be a Republican and Jason chose to be a Democrat.”

This State need a new method of Voting.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
Digg! StumbleUpon

No comments: