Editorial – Rupert Howell 8/26/2016

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 26, 2016

Rupert Howell – Managing editor

You are brilliant if you know your every district, subdistrict

Thank goodness for national, state-wide and county-wide elections. Those are the only political races when I’m sure for whom are the candidates.

If you know all your elected officials and districts in which you are represented, you are one smart cookie. In fact you are brilliant.

Take my situation for example. I live in Panola County, in the Second Judicial District which includes most of the area south of the Tallahatchie River. I am also in the South Panola School District which includes most of the area south of the Tallahatchie River, but it’s not exactly the same area of my county judicial district.

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My supervisor district is District (Beat) Four. The School District sub-district is Number Two. My county supervisor lives nearby but my school board representative lives on  the other side of the county. During a redistricting hearing I asked the school board to change it. They didn’t.
I vote in the Eureka Precinct, not at Mt. Olivet which is my water district. My fire district is Bynum. My mailing address is Batesville.

My state Senate District is 14. My senator is two counties removed and I don’t think I can spell her name. I’ve never met her.

My state Representative District is 10, I think. And I think I know my representative and his wife.
My U.S. Representative District is #2. He was elected for life like U.S. Supreme Court Judges, kinda. My district used to be U.S. House District #1 and the holder of that office was usually a conservative elected from the northeastern part of the state.

Panola was best served when Panola was served by Bennie Thompson on one side of the county and a conservative on the other. Our community leadership had two connections to Washington and it worked for a better Panola County.

The upcoming election will include the offices of State Supreme Court Judge and and a position on the State Court of Appeals in the Northern District. But wait, surely this is the same “northern district”.

No, no, no, no, no.

The State Court of Appeals’ lines run on the old U.S. House District lines (like when Panola was split between U.S. District One and Two), and the State Supreme Court lines are with the current U.S. District lines.

If you are confused, good. So am I and I have been for years.

If the powers-that-be wanted to make voting easy for the masses they could stop gerrymandering to suit themselves or some interpretation of the Constitution and start with some common sense approach to voting districts so we, the people, could know who and what in the blazes we are supposed to be voting for (or against).