WDAM Viewpoint - Open Primaries - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

WDAM Viewpoint - Open Primaries

Posted: Updated:

August 12, 2011

Every election cycle it comes up again.  And it should.  I'm talking about the sentiment held by many voters that Mississippi adopt an open primary system of elections.  As it is now, in the first primary you have to choose whether to vote for either the Republican or Democratic slate of candidates only.  Then in the second primary you have to stick with that same party.  Only in the general election in November do you have the freedom to cross party lines and vote for the candidate of your choice regardless of the designation by their name.  For example, if you wanted to vote for governor on this past August 2nd and your candidate happened to be a Democrat and the person you wanted to vote for to be your supervisor was on the Republican ballot—you had to decide which office you wanted to vote for the most.  Then, if your candidate lost out in the first primary and there was no one else on that party's ticket you cared to select in the runoff—held this year on August 23rd you would be out of luck.  Allowing voters to cross party lines from the get go truly allows people to vote for the person and not just the party.   In Mike McDaniel's two part story this week he tells how a Lincoln County woman, Marla Nottingham is circulating a petition to force a voter initiative to get that changed so that Mississippi can have an open primary system as does our sister state of Louisiana.  We hope she gets the signature and Mississippians get the opportunity to vote in every election just as they do the general election…for the person and not the party.  I'm Jim Cameron…write and let us know what you think.