For those who chafe over undecided, uncommitted or otherwise independent voters drifting back and forth across the partisan line outside of the first and second primary prohibition in Mississippi, straight ticket voting would have significant appeal. But those who value the ability to “vote for the man (or woman) rather than the party,” the process presents significant obstacles.
Voters who gravitate toward GOP congressional leadership, but want to vote for a Democratic county supervisor would be handcuffed by the straight ticket.
Straight ticket voting empowers the political parties, empowers incumbents, and empowers the candidates with the most resources – which based on preponderance of the social media rhetoric after the Mississippi U.S. Senate second primary are the very ills that the party purity preachers claim to want to rectify.
One thing is clear at this juncture – the Mississippi Legislature will have an opportunity to turn a microscope on Mississippi election law in the 2015 session as they approach the state’s next courthouse-to-statehouse elections. And in all likelihood, at the end of that opportunity, Mississippi’s elections laws will remain substantially unchanged.