"Election Official: Initiative 42 So Confusing Many Won't Vote on It" by Politics Blog | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Politics Blog

Election Official: Initiative 42 So Confusing Many Won't Vote on It

Earlier this month, the 42 for Better Schools campaign asked the Mississippi secretary of state's office to review ballots across all 82 counties in Mississippi after finding errors on ballots in Hinds County.

A Mississippi voter in Hinds County found the errors when the voter went to complete an absentee ballot, 42 for Better Schools spokeswoman Patsy Brumfield said at the time.

The same errors on the absentee ballot had been visible on the Hinds County sample ballot. The letter "A" was removed from the Initiative 42-A choice, so voters can vote "FOR Initiative Measure No. 42" or "FOR Alternative Measure No. 42." Without the letter "A" to designate the alternative, voters might vote for the wrong initiative Brumfield said.

Now, Hinds County officials want to reach out to people who voted absentee and ask them to submit a corrected ballot. Pieter Teeuwissen, the attorney for the Hinds County Board of Supervisors, said the county otherwise could be open to litigation.

At today's board meeting, supervisors, attorneys and election commissioners braced for mass confusion over the ballot initiative, which requires the Legislature to adequately fund public schools or be compelled to do so by the courts.

Connie Cochran, the District 4 representative to and chairwoman of the Hinds County Election Commission, called the initiative "confusing."

"I think what we're going to have is a lot of people who just don't vote" on Initiative 42, Cochran told supervisors today.

Board President Tony Greer, the only Republican member of the board, said even though he believes Initiative 42 to be a "perilous slope to changing the constitution," he does believes voters need proper information when going to the polls.

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