By Tamikia Carr Vasquez
Mississippi, historically a hotbed of racial hostility between whites and blacks, is once again on the cusp of change. In June, the Mississippi legislature voted to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state’s flag. In November, voters will have the opportunity to vote on removing the “Mississippi Plan” from the state constitution. This 1890 Jim Crow era provision states that to win certain statewide offices, a candidate must win the majority of the popular vote and win a majority of Mississippi’s 122 House districts. The Mississippi Center for Justice is on the forefront of leading the effort to abolish this procedure. In 2019, the Center worked on a federal lawsuit against the state. I recently spoke with Vangela M. Wade, President and CEO of the Center, about the background of the current electoral process, the prospects of the success of the referendum, and other election law issues facing Mississippi. This is part 1 of a two-part interview.