Breaking down the November ballot

Focused on Politics

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The November ballot has officially been released, and there are several races on it.

In the race for president, there are nine tickets to choose from. The major parties are at the top: Joe Biden/Kamala Harris and Donald Trump/Mike Pence. The other seven tickets are made up of third parties and independent candidates, including last minute addition Kanye West.

The big statewide race is for U.S. Senate. Incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith faces Mike Espy in a rematch of the 2018 special election. In the U.S. House, there are contested races in the first, second and third districts.

A pair of Supreme Court seats are being contested; in District 1 in the central part of the state and District 3 in the north. Those races are straightforward, but it’s the ballot initiatives that get a little tricky.

For medical marijuana, there are two initiatives and three choices. Initiative 65 was put on the ballot by petition, and 65-A was added as an alternative option that came out of the Mississippi Legislature.

Voters are first asked whether they want either measure or neither measure. Voters who select either must then choose between Initiative 65 or 65-A, and they must answer the second question for their vote to count.

Voters who are against both initiatives can still choose between 65 and 65-A, but they don’t need to for their ballots to be counted. So the question is, how does it pass?

If more people vote for ‘either,’ then the initiative that gets the most votes is the law, provided it gets approval from at least 40% of the ballots cast at the election.

The other two ballot measures require a simple majority. One asks whether to do away with the rule requiring statewide office holders to win both the popular vote and a majority of house districts and would require only the popular vote.

The last item on the ballot decides whether the “In God We Trust Flag” with the magnolia design will become the state flag.

Click here to view the 2020 General Election ballot.

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