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Primary Election Day--Your Vote Matters

Thomas Jefferson once famously said, “We do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”

Elections directly affect every part of our daily lives. From the roads we drive, the taxes we pay, and even the regulations on our barbers, all are controlled by the people we elect.

Now, imagine you are in a room with 99 strangers, and the first eight to raise their hands will make decisions for the rest of the group. Would you want just those eight deciding what roads to pave, the taxes deducted from your income, or who can become your barber?

Turnout in Mississippi since 2007 has ranged from 31% to 40% of our roughly 1.9 million registered voters during primary elections. In the primary, a candidate is required to win a majority of the vote, meaning roughly 15.5-20% or 294,500-380,000 of Mississippi’s registered voters typically select the primary winners.

However, two elections occur simultaneously during the primary, the Republican and Democratic Primaries. In 2015, turnout for these primaries was roughly 16% and 15%, respectively. So, to achieve the majority and obtain the party nomination, a candidate would have to receive between 142,500 and 152,000 votes.

With Primary Election Day upon us, it’s imperative for Mississippians to remember casting a ballot in August is just as important as the November General Election. In some instances, a Primary Election may very well be the deciding factor as to which candidates will hold office for the next four years, and every single vote matters.

Remember: polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8. Any voter in line at 7:00 p.m. is legally entitled to cast a ballot. To ensure a smooth Election Day process, visit our latest online tool, My Election Day, which features an updated polling place locator, your sample ballot, your locally elected officials, and a new ballot tracking tool you can use should you vote absentee or by affidavit ballot.

Whether you show up on Election Day or not, a decision will be made as to who will be creating, regulating, and enforcing laws at both the state and county levels. So, do your homework and make your plans to get out and vote on Election Day.

Your vote matters. Let's go vote, Mississippi!

MICHAEL WATSON Secretary of State State of Mississippi


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