Initiatives stack up as a GOP trifecta

It’s not a coincidence that these measures are on the 2011 ballot, the same election in which voters will choose a governor, legislators and other state and county officials.

Here’s what voters will be asked to decide:

•VOTER ID – The paternal, well-intentioned arguments that have been put forth against passing a voter ID law are just that – paternal and well-intentioned – but in the final analysis are political. Asking a voter for photo identification isn’t going to intimidate anyone from voting .

But in opposing a 2009 legislative deal that would have enacted voter ID and early voting, a handful of Senate Republicans revealed just how much they wanted voter ID on the 2011 ballot as a “get-out-the-vote” mechanism. GOP opposition to early voting was rooted in the perception that early voting will raise voter turnout among people not predisposed to vote Republican.

Abortion politics
•PERSONHOOD – The proposed “personhood” amendment seeks to define life as beginning at conception. Regardless of the outcome of the “personhood” amendment ballot initiative in Mississippi, abortion law in the state would continue to be dictated by the federal 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, which legalized most abortions. A state ballot initiative will not supersede federal law. This will pass in a landslide, but is likely to be plunged into a protracted federal court battle.

Sid Salter
Clarion Ledger
4/15/11