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Advocacy group’s goal: voting smarter

Entering the final few weeks before the mid-term congressional races culminate November 7, Mississippi finds itself a calm island in a swirling political storm. For now, that is.

Races across the country are in play as Democrats challenge the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. Pundits aplenty think that the House could see a leadership change, while the Senate seems safely in the GOP’s hands, albeit weakened a bit. Of course, anything can happen in the closing days of this fascinating process, and pundits are frequently wrong.

What is clear is that Mississippi will play a miniscule role in whatever changes take place in Congress. Our incumbents should have a clean sweep with only token opposition from their challengers. However, as Gannett News Service writer Ana Radelet pointed out in a piece last week, Mississippi politics is set for a shakeup if Republicans lose their majority.

“A change of control in the House would mean Republican U.S. Reps. Chip Pickering of the 3rd District and Roger Wicker of the 1st District — both expected to win re-election — would be in the minority for the first time since they assumed office,” wrote Radelet for an October 18th story in The Clarion-Ledger. She also delved into what a big win for the Democrats means for Bennie Thompson and Gene Taylor, along with a scenario if the Republicans lose the Senate.

No doubt, Mississippi politicos are in for a wild ride.

Voters, too, have important reasons to tune in and then vote this fall. A valuable resource in the search for relevant and nonpartisan information about the candidates and our elected officials can be found online at www.vote-smart.org.

Project Vote Smart’s extensive database of candidate information offers a direct link to details that can make a difference in how your ballot is cast. Free from shrill rhetoric, PVS is best summed up by this assertion posted on its site: All of us realize that the mudslinging tactics once associated only with the crudest kinds of local politics now characterize virtually all campaigns and have stripped us of the most crucial component in our struggle to self-govern: access to abundant, accurate and relevant information about those who govern us and those who wish to replace those who do.

Have a free moment? Check out Project Vote Smart and then go vote in November. After all, whatever the outcome, we’re all part of the process.

Contact MBJ editor Jim Laird at jlaird@msbusiness.com.

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