Yesterday I told you that I would relate more stories of oddities from the Mississippi election, told to me directly by Mississippi voters.
Over the weekend, I spoke to Julie Patrick, the chairperson of the Republican party in Marshall County, Mississippi, who told me about some odd events at the polls during the primary runoff last week. She is the one who gave Charles C. Johnson the professional-looking flyer from Mississippi Conservatives. The person who gave it to her made a beeline for Patrick as she approached the polls, well within 150 feet of the polling station, and said: “I don’t think I’m supposed to be doing this” as she gave Patrick the flyer. After that, she engaged in very aggressive behavior, stopping cars as they were turning into the polling place, and poking her head in to talk to people.
At Warsaw precinct, Patrick said there were two pro-Cochran campaigners actually inside the building where the polling was taking place. She said they were “not 15 feet away” from where the voting was occurring, “just where people were going in to vote.” She said it looked “as if they were part of the process.”
Patrick described an odd incident witnessed by her mother, in which a bailiff at the Warsaw polling place was handing out red pieces of paper to voters that Patrick’s mother said looked like “vouchers” of some kind. She said that the bailiff told a voter: “you have to use separate carts.” Patrick and her mother did not know what any of this meant for sure.
Several people, upon being told by poll workers that this was a Republican primary, simply left. They thought they had come for a Democrat primary.
Also, on June 25, Charles C. Johnson put out an image of a letter that had been sent out to teachers across the state. I spoke to one of the people who received this letter this past weekend, and that person forwarded me the email. The person asked me to leave names out of it. The email states:
Over $800-million in federal K-12 funding could be at stake.
So alarmed was Mississippi Board of Education chairman Dr. Wayne Gann, that he issued a public letter expressing his dismay over one candidate’s position on education funding. Click here to read Dr. Gann’s letter.
According to the Mississippi Legislative Budget Office, Mississippi received approximately $800-million in federal funds for public education in the most recent school year – almost 25% of the K-12 budget. That’s the equivalent of about 16,000 Mississippi teachers’ salaries and benefits. If those dollars were to be eliminated, the effect on local schools would be devastating.
Because Mississippi receives $3 back in federal funding for every $1 we pay in taxes, Mississippians would have to pay three times as much in taxes as we do now to make up at the state and local level what our schools receive now in federal education dollars.
Click here to see how much your district received in federal funding in the 2012-13 school year, the most recent year for which per-district spending is available.
Public education supporters cannot afford to be naive about the effect that federal elections have on our schools. Those whom we elect to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are responsible for shaping and voting on the budgets that determine the federal funds that flow to each state, including the vital federal dollars that help fund our children’s schools. Your vote matters. Here is important information on the upcoming elections:
Primary Runoff Election, June 24, 2014:
* Anyone who voted in the Republican primary and those who did not vote at all on June 3 can vote in the runoff on June 24
* Those who voted in the Democratic primary on June 3 may not vote in the Senate Republican Primary runoff election on June 24
* If you will be out of town or otherwise unable to vote on June 24, you may cast an absentee ballot by 12:00 noon on Saturday, June 21
* Click here for more about casting absentee ballots, voter registration, and other primary election information
General Election, November 4, 2014:
* Every registered voter can vote in the election on November 4, 2014
* Mississippians are allowed to vote a split ticket in the General Election (a voter may cast votes for Republicans and Democrats on the same ballot)
* Click here for additional dates and information associated with the
November General Election
Please remember to vote on June 24, and remind your friends and family to do likewise. Our children are counting on us!
You might be interested also in recent news on charter schools in Mississippi. Click here for the latest updates.
I have removed the links from the email, which redirect the user to a site that handles software for email marketing.
My source did not know about the legality of using government email for this kind of electioneering, but I agree with her that it seems suspect — and the appeal, like all pro-Cochran appeals, is based on bringing home federal cash to the state. This is not a Republican message — which is probably why McDaniel was the choice of Republican voters in Mississippi.
I don’t know what’s happening with the post-election drama. Charles has a report at his new site that makes very serious allegations. I can’t vouch for any of that, but I am interested to see what (if anything) comes of it.