Mississippi Ballot Measure 2 would remove the requirement that candidates for governor or state office win a majority of the state’s 122 House of Representatives districts, in which case the state House of Representatives decides the victor.
This artifact of the 1890 state constitution rarely has any effect and we believe unnecessarily complicates election to statewide office. It was designed back in the old days when there were much greater regional differences throughout Mississippi. Increased transportation and communication has made our state much more politically unified.
A simple majority of the votes cast throughout the state is the simplest and most intuitive way to elect our governor and other statewide officials.
The Mississippi House of Representatives has decided a gubernatorial election one time, in 1999, when Ronnie Musgrove ran against Mike Parker. Musgrove and Parker each won 61 of the state's 122 House districts. The House voted to affirm Musgrove who also had a slight lead in the popular vote.
A “yes” vote would remove this old requirement and provide for election by simple statewide majority. We recommend voters vote “yes.”