Voting laws need update

Following the closely contested Republican runoff for U.S. Senate, Mississippi’s election laws are again the subject of discussion. Since Mississippi recently ranked last in a national election performance index, it is clear we need to make some changes. What should those changes be?

Contrary to what some have been saying, we need more voters in all of our elections, and we need candidates who actively seek the support of all Mississippians. After all, candidates — if elected — must represent all of their constituents, not just those in their political party.

A strong and growing political party will welcome all voters to participate in its primary. Today, Mississippians have the right to choose the party primary in which they wish to vote. We need to protect that choice. We need to oppose those who would reduce the freedom of choice Mississippians enjoy.

We also need more voters participating in our elections and to make sure every eligible voter has his or her vote counted. In the primary and runoff elections, as many as 550 Mississippians went to the polls but were not able to cast a legal ballot. As long as voter ID is the law, we need to improve efforts to make free IDs easily available.

David Blount
Op-Ed Clarion Ledger
7/3/14