COLUMBUS, Miss. -- The second edition of the Nonpartisan Voter Guide is here, just in time for the 2018 midterm elections. A biennial production of Dr. Chanley Rainey’s "Campaigns and Elections" class, the guide is the result of student’s desk research and candidate interviews.
The guide is a service-learning project designed to teach students about the election process and to serve citizens in Columbus and Lowndes County.
MUW does not endorse or otherwise support candidates or political parties competing for public office, and students strove for balanced and neutral coverage in producing the Nonpartisan Voter Guide.
The current guide covers two federal elections and two local elections: the U.S. Senate special election, the U.S. House District 1 election and the elections for Mississippi Chancery Court District 14, Places 2 and 3. This represents an expansion of coverage from 2016 and was possible because the campaigns and elections class had both political science and women’s studies sections this year.
The class also secured five candidate interviews, two more than in 2016. Political science students Edward Kennelly and John McGee interviewed U.S. Senate candidate Tobey Bartee and U.S. House candidate Randy Wadkins, respectively. Women’s studies undergraduate Gloria Dunlap interviewed Chancery candidate Roy Perkins, and women’s leadership graduate students Daysha Humphrey and Elise Wilson interviewed Chancery candidates Paula Drungole-Ellis and Joe Studdard, respectively.
Dr. Chanley Rainey, assistant professor of political science, noted, “Local elections are very important, and yet get very little attention. Traditionally, only about 40 percent of citizens show up for midterm elections, 20 percent fewer than in presidential election years. It’s even worse below the level of U.S. House and Senate races, since many voters “roll-off” as they move down their ballot and see races—like a Chancery Court election—they may not have even known would there.
“That’s what makes this a service-learning project: students are shedding light on oft-forgotten elections.” Referring to their success, Dr. Rainey said, "Whether interviewing federal legislative candidates or local judicial candidates, the experience instills confidence in students—both as researchers and as citizens—and provides insight into the democratic process.”
To view the voter guide, visit: http://www.muw.edu/voterguide
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 5, 2018