(Southaven, MS) Cordera Williams says it was clear to him, in the Southaven mayor’s race, voters were angry.
”Probably pretty angry,” he said. “I mean, the thing, is voters tend to vote against things they don’t like”.
And the last two years gave Southaven voters a lot to dislike.
Democratic party official Sam Williams says you could see it in the canvassing of the ballots.
”I saw something that was interesting,” he said. “There were little comments. People wrote a lot of thing on the ballots. They didn’t just check off ballots”.
He noticed a lot of ballots didn’t even show votes for the candidates: ”On some of them, they just didn’t vote for anyone and wrote down ‘anyone but’ there or ‘anyone else would do.’”
It helps explain the landslide election of political unknown Darren Musselwhite, and the mayor’s admission in a newspaper story that voters turned against him because he was gay.
Southaven isn’t the only place where voters, in recent years, cast ballots in protest.
In one Memphis mayor’s election, Prince Mongo Hodges, who claimed to be from another planet, got more votes than expected.
And as a new mayor and board take office in Southaven, Williams says including minorities and other political groups can heal the city’s wounds.
”The only way we can overcome the last 18 months, two years, is that everybody get a chair at the table,” explained Williams.
Because voters still say they’re not yet content.
”Anger is one of the things that can help encourage people,” said Woodard.