Latest updates from the campaign:
Senate, in 11th hour, tries to revive ballot initiative measure it previously killed
The Senate on Monday, at Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann’s request, voted to revive a measure it killed last week that would restore voters’ right to sidestep the Legislature and put issues on a statewide ballot.
As the 2023 legislative session enters what’s scheduled to be its final few days, the House would have to follow suit with a two-thirds vote to suspend rules and revive the ballot initiative measure. Then the two chambers would have to come to agreement on a final version.
Restoration of Mississippi ballot initiative process dies in the Senate
Two-years after the Mississippi Supreme Court invalidated the vote gathering process for ballot initiatives in Mississippi, the Legislature has failed to create a new process to restore the right to voters. An effort to do so died in the Senate this week.
Legislature Claims New Proposal Gives Back Rights - But Does It?
A proposal to bring back a ballot initiative process is still alive at the State Capitol. But it looks different than what the state had before the Supreme Court struck it down. Still, the author is willing to make changes to keep it moving this session.
Unless something changes, initiatives won’t go straight to a ballot after collecting signatures. They would instead go to the legislature where they could, by a two-thirds vote, make changes to the proposal before it appears on a ballot. We checked in with people who’ve been involved in signature collection for initiatives in the past to get their reactions to those changes.
“The way it’s written right now will then put a layer of bureaucracy in between that direct democracy and the actual law where the legislature is kind of sticking their nose and one more time to make sure that we didn’t do anything that they don’t like,” said Jonathan Brown, a citizen activist who ran the Initiative 65 campaign. “And I don’t think that’s appropriate.”
“That’s just taking the voice away from the people, you know, once again, you know, and so I’m not I’m not for that,” added Dan Carr, Director of the Let Mississippi Vote initiative.
As currently proposed, signatures would have to be collected from 12 percent of the total registered voters as of the state’s last presidential election, at least 100 from every county and 10 from every municipality.
“It’s so cumbersome as to be completely unworkable,” said Brown. “And so that’s going to have to be modified.”
“They’re complicating the process,” described Carr. “It’s going to make it nearly impossible for Mississippians to ever put anything on the ballot.”
A year and a half later and Mississippi still doesn’t have a ballot initiative process
It’s been a year and a half of limbo for the future of the state’s ballot initiative process, and election results from around the country are a reminder of what Mississippi doesn’t have as an option.
You won't see any statewide initiatives on Mississippi ballots on Tuesday. Here's why.
Mississippi voters who are used to seeing ballot measures may be surprised to find none during Tuesday's Midterm Elections, as the state's voter initiative process remains in a court-induced coma.
‘They Don’t Trust The People’: Lawmakers Want To Weaken Voter Power, McDaniel Warns
“There’s obviously an element within the Legislature that doesn’t like the ballot-initiative process, and you’re starting to hear these rumblings right now—they’re saying it’s too easy,” Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville told the Mississippi Free Press on Friday. “But what they’re really saying is they don’t trust the people. And when politicians don’t trust the people, that’s a problem. So they’re going to do everything in their power to deflect and circumvent the legislation.”
Mississippi Supreme Court nullifies the votes of 74% of Mississippi voters
Today the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled against the state’s ballot initiative process, killing the medical marijuana program 74% of Mississippians voted to pass in November..