Our new poll released in early June for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) Action Fund found overwhelming bipartisan support among Mississippi voters for the governor and state Legislature to restore the ballot initiative process following a decision by the state Supreme Court last year that invalidated it.
According to the statewide poll we conducted of voters, 79% of Mississippi voters want the ballot initiative law fixed as soon as possible.
The SPLC Action Fund poll also found that 82% of voters want to have a ballot initiative process in the state and 76% want Gov. Tate Reeves to call a special election to pass a new law by the end of summer.
“The message of today’s polling couldn’t be clearer: Mississippians across race, party, ideology and gender support the continued existence of the ballot initiative process in the state,” said Brandon Jones, Mississippi policy director for the SPLC Action Fund. “The polling also presents an opportunity or danger for elected officials: Mississippians clearly expressed they would be more likely to support the reelection of officials who speedily reinstated the process and more likely to vote against politicians who did not support a fix.”
The poll also found that:
- Voters reject the state Supreme Court’s interference in the ballot initiative process. Nearly three-quarters (73%) oppose permitting the Supreme Court to “overturn ballot initiatives voters have already approved.” This opposition includes majorities of Democrats (76%), Republicans (71%) and independents (73%).
- Voters oppose the court’s decision to overturn the medical marijuana initiative. Nearly seven in 10 voters (68%) say they oppose the decision to overturn the initiative on a legal technicality; the initiative was approved by voters with overwhelming support (73%-27%) in 2020. Opposition to the court decision crosses party lines and includes solid majorities of Democrats (75%), Republicans (61%) and independents (69%).
- The governor faces political peril. Voters want Reeves to call a special session immediately to resolve the ballot measure question. Specifically, more than three-quarters of voters (76%) believe he should call a special session this summer to update the law and restore the ballot initiative process in time for the next statewide elections in 2023. Support for a special session includes significant majorities of Democrats (77%), Republicans (73%) and independents (75%). The poll found that just 48% of voters have a favorable opinion of Reeves, while 46% hold an unfavorable opinion; 57% said they are less likely to support the governor’s reelection if he doesn’t take swift action.
- WLOK: New poll seeks to gauge support for restoring Mississippi’s ballot initiative process
- The Northside Sun: New SPLC Action Fund Polling: Mississippians’ support for ballot initiatives & the need to fix supreme court’s decision
- WJTV: Poll finds strong support for restoring Mississippi’s ballot initiative
- Press Register: New SPLC Action Fund Polling: Mississippians’ support for ballot initiatives & the need to fix supreme court’s decision