Controversial Changes to State Constitution Examined at ForumBy Rhonda Miller | Published 21 Jul 2011 11:17pm |
Mississippi voters have three controversial questions to consider as they prepare for the general election in November. At a public meeting Thursday night, MPB’s Rhonda Miller found strong opinions and some advice: learn about the issues.
The first thing Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann wants voters to do is study the proposed changes to the Mississippi Constitution. He says one way to do that is by going to public meetings, like this one in Gulfport.
"It’ll cover three constitutional issues and they’re critical to Mississippi. The right to vote, voter ID. The personhood amendment, which is life begins at conception. And then the last one is eminent domain, when the government can seize private property for a non-public purpose," Hosemann said.
These meetings are a forum for voters to hear and give opinions. Hannah Burnett of Gulfport is part of a statewide group called Yes on 26, the amendment about personhood.
"I do have an opinion. I am for Amendment 26. I do believe that life begins at conception and that all humans have the right to life," Burnett said.
Naturally, some at the meeting have a different opinion, like Allytra Perryman, who’s representing Coastal Women for Change in Biloxi.
"I am against the personhood initiative. I believe it is a woman’s right to choose what happens with her body," Perryman said.
The ballot question about whether state and local government should be able to take private proprety has Billy Ray Broadus riled up.
"And you get developers and local politicians together, they make a deal," Broadus said. "They’ll take your property and they can do what they want to with it. Oh, they say you got freedom, you can object to it. If you’ve got the money you can object to it, and the patience and know the right people. But the average person that owns some land and they come in and take it for those purposes, it’s just wrong."
All written opinions will be posted on the secretary of state’s website, along with transcripts of the public meetings.
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