OPINION: Kentucky, Virginia and Louisiana Voted for Change; Mississippi Still Has Work to Do


Many voters from all over the country went to the polls to decide on local and state elections on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.

Democrat Andy Beshear defeated Republican Gov. Matt Bevin in a bitterly fought Kentucky governor's race. This defeat was one of the most unlikely upsets in recent election history. I must admit after Doug Jones' victory in Alabama, I did have hope for Beshear.

Democrats in Virginia's legislative elections had a great election night, flipping both the House and Senate. There has been a big debate over the last few years regarding Virginia going blue. But Democrats in Virginia have gained so much excitement in an off-year where state legislative elections were the biggest thing on the ballot; that means Virginia Democratic Party is organized and enthusiastic.

Then, last weekend, Louisiana voters re-elected Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards.

But the Mississippi outcomes—wherein no Democrats will now serve in statewide office—show the state is still facing a challenge in regard to turning blue. Republicans will now be the top seven state officials from governor to insurance commissioner. Many would say this isn't surprising for Mississippi. What is more surprising is the Jim Crow-era election law created to prevent people from color from being elected in Mississippi.

After Reconstruction ended and African Americans started to seek elected offices, framers from the state's 1890 Constitutional Convention sought to "secure to the State of Mississippi 'white supremacy,'" a journal of the convention's proceedings shows.

Accordingly, Mississippi adopted a two-pronged process for winning statewide offices: candidates must not only win a majority of votes in the state; they must also win in a majority of its 122 state house districts—only a third of which are majority black, despite the state having the nation's largest percentage of black voting-age residents. If a candidate fails to meet the second prong of

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