Initiative 42 Voting

Election commissioners are expecting a back-up at the polls tomorrow over confusion on how to vote regarding Initiative 42. The voter will be presented with four options and asked to vote for two of them. News 25’s Katarina Luketich breaks down what you’ll see on your ballot tomorrow.
Voters are being asked to vote on a hotly contested education funding ballot measure at the polls on Tuesday: Initiative 42. But it’s not as simple as a yes or no response. Jackson County Election Commissioner Danny Glaskox said, “There’s a lot of misunderstanding about the initiative. If you’ll take your time and read it, you actually have to vote twice.”
You will be asked two separate questions. The first one basically asks if you are in favor of changing the state’s constitution. If you are in favor of changing it, the second question then asks you to vote for either Initiative 42 or Alternative 42A. Even if you initially vote against changing the constitution, you are still encouraged to vote for the second question because, should it pass, you then lose your say in the outcome. Deputy Circuit Clerk for Harrison County Connie Ladner said, “The second question has to pass with at least 40 percent of the overall total vote. If you taper off at the bottom and you leave it blank, that doesn’t factor into the 40 percent of the total because you left it blank. So you are encouraged to vote for both.”
Citizen sponsored Initiative 42 seeks to require the state to fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program and make it enforceable by state courts. Alternative 42A, which was created by the Legislature, would allow lawmakers to allocate education dollars how they see fit without involvement of the courts.
The circuit clerk’s office is asking voters to learn as much as possible about the initiative and the alternative, as well as how the ballot is set up, because other than a poster hanging from the Secretary of State’s office, they will not be able to help you at the precincts. “As the poll workers, we are not able to answer those questions. We don’t want to sway people one way or another,” said Ladner.

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