Mississippians head to the polls

By Aaron Rice
November 2, 2020

Mississippi voters who haven’t already cast absentee ballots head to the polls tomorrow to vote for numerous offices and initiatives. 

At the top of the ticket, Mississippians will be choosing from President Donald Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden, and seven other candidates, including Kanye West, for president. In 2016, Mississippi gave Trump 58 percent of the vote. Mississippi last voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in 1976.

Mississippians will also be voting in a rematch for United States Senator. Two years ago, Cindy Hyde-Smith, who had been appointed earlier in the year by then-Gov. Phil Bryant, defeated former Congressman Mike Espy 54-46. That was to fill the remainder of former Sen. Thad Cochran’s term. Hyde-Smith is vying for a full six-year term Tuesday. Hyde-Smith and Espy will match up again, along with Libertarian Jimmy Edwards. 

Only Rep. Steven Palazzo is unopposed for re-election in South Mississippi among Mississippi’s four Congressional seats. Rep. Trent Kelly faces Democrat Antonia Eliason. Rep. Bennie Thompson faces Republican Brian Flowers. And Rep. Michael Guest meets Democrat Dorothy Beneford. 

Two of the four Supreme Court justices on the ballot have opposition this year. Justice Kenny Griffis was appointed to the Court in 2018 and faces Latrice Westbrooks in the nonpartisan election. This district, officially District 1, covers central Mississippi, ranging from Republican suburbs of Rankin and Madison counties to Democratic strongholds of Hinds county, along with much of the Delta. While the positions are officially non-partisan, much of the Republican establishment and aligned-business groups have backed Griffis, while most Democrats, including Thompson, are supporting Westbrook in the slightly Democratic district. 

In the Northern District, Justice Josiah Coleman faces Percy Lynchard for the District 3 seat. Leslie King is unopposed for another seat in District 1, while Mike Randolph is unopposed in District 2, the southern district. 

Mississippians will also see three questions. 

The first question, which has garnered the most attention, is a ballot initiative to make Mississippi the 35th state to adopt medical marijuana. Last spring, the legislature put an alternative on the ballot, which makes this a two-part question. The first question will ask if you want either. It's an either or neither proposition. If a majority say neither, the second question doesn't matter. If a majority says either, then whichever option (the original ballot initiative or the alternative) receives a majority is enacted, provided it receives at least 40 percent of the ballots cast. 

The second measure removes the electoral vote requirement for statewide elections. Right now, the state House votes on the governor if a candidate does not receive a majority of the vote and majority of legislative districts. If enacted, this removes that requirement and would move to a runoff system between the top two vote getters if no one receives a majority. 

The final measure is adoption of the new state flag. This summer the legislature took up the issue, removed the current flag, and a commission created a new flag for voters to vote on. If a majority vote against it, a new flag option would be designed and vote upon in 2021. 

According to the Secretary of State, you will not need to wear a mask to enter a polling place. 


magnifiercross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram