Residents to vote on Initiative 42 on Nov. 3

From press & staff reports

The Winston County Circuit Clerks Office recently received the sample ballots for the 2015 General Election to be held on Tuesday, November 3.

Statewide races that will be held on that day range from the Governor’s seat all the way to Senate and House of Representative positions.

County races for Winston County will include coroner, chancery and circuit clerk, county attorney, sheriff, tax assessor, constable, and multiple supervisor and justice court judge positions.

Some of the candidates of these races do not feature any opposition. All candidates that are facing no opposition are of the Democratic Party. The races with no opposition are: Julie Cunningham for Chancery Clerk, Kim T. Ming for Circuit Clerk, Scott Gregory for Coroner, Kiley C. Kirk for County Attorney, James “Burr” Warner for Supervisor District 1, Ralph Goss for Supervisor District 4, Larry Duran for Supervisor District 5, Mike Fuller for Justice Court Judge East Post, Robert A. Beck for Justice Court Judge West Post, Roy Dale Fulton for Constable East Post, and Edward “Ed” Hunt for Constable West Post.

Five local races will be voted on during the Nov. 3 Primary. For Winston County Sheriff, Jason Pugh (Dem) will run against Donnie G. Graham (Rep). For Winston County Tax Assessor Collector, Darlene Fryery Bane (Dem) will run against Russell Gene “Rusty” Foster (Independent).

For the Supervisor District 2 position, Robert C. Goodin, Sr. (Rep) will run against Luke Lamar Parkes (Dem). In the Supervisor District 3 race, Marion E. Jordan (Dem), Shawn Edwards (Independent) and Ben Jackson (Independent) will face off against each other. For District 5 School Board Trustee, Nancy Young Jordan, Mike McAdory and Bobby “Bubba” Pierce are seeking the seat.

This year’s ballot will also feature a statewide initiative regarding funding of public schools. Mississippi Legislature passed a law in 1997 that promised that each public school district in Mississippi would receive enough financial support to adequately fund every K-12 education program in the state. Since that promise, Legislature has only fully funding public schools twice in nearly 20 years. The result is a $1.7 billion statewide shortfall since FY2009.

Nearly 200,000 Mississippians from every county and both political parties took a stand and signed petitions to have Initiative 42 placed on this year’s ballot to amend the state Constitution in a way that makes public education a priority instead of an afterthought.

A vote for Initiative 42 would require Mississippi Legislature to provide full funding for the public school system. If the Legislature does not provide the full funding, it would be subject to judicial enforcement.

After Initiative 42 was brought to the forefront, an alternative measure was added to the ballot.

Alternative Measure 42A would also require the Legislature to provide the full funding of public school, but if the Legislature does not provide the funding, it would not be subject to judicial enforcement.

According to the Legislative Budget Office Fiscal Analysis, if Initiative 42 is passed and the court system required K-12 Public Education to be funded at the amount called for by the statutory Mississippi Adequate Education Program, the Legislature would need to appropriate an additional $201,031,129 above the fiscal year 2016 budgeted amount.

With this increase in the budget, the Legislature states it would be possible that cuts to agency budgets and fees or tax increases could be seen.

The first part of the ballot asks for voters to vote for approval of either Initiative 42 or Alternative 42A or against both Initiative 42 and Alternative 42A.

The next part of the ballot asks for voters who support either Initiative 42 or Alternative 42A to choose between Initiative 42 or Alternative 42A.

“Casting a ballot on Election Day is not only our right, but our responsibility—one we too often take for granted,” says Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.  “We have soldiers who have fought and died to protect the rights you decide on Election Day.  Law enforcement and first responders protect our rights as citizens to vote every day.  We should honor their sacrifices by registering to vote and by casting a ballot.”

The deadline to register to vote in the upcoming 2015 General Election is Saturday, October 3, 2015.

The following individuals may register to vote in the State of Mississippi:
· A resident of Mississippi and the county, city, or town for 30 days prior to the election;
· At least 18 years old at the date of the election;
· Not declared mentally incompetent by a court; and,
· Not convicted of a disenfranchising crime.
Registering to vote may be done in person at any of the following locations:
·Circuit Clerk’s Office;
·Municipal Clerk’s Office; ·Department of Public Safety; and, Any state or federal agency offering government services.

If you would like more information regarding the sample ballot or the voting process in Winston County, you may contact the Winston County Circuit Clerk’s Office at 662-773-3581.