You are looking at the recently-approved sample ballot of Initiative 42, the citizen lead effort to induce the Mississippi legislature to do what they are already required to do by law: fully fund public education.
This is a sample literacy test from days of yore.
Back then, Mississippians needed to be manipulated in order for elected officials to hold onto their power. Roadblocks at every turn were created to halt progress and expose the status quo. Ballots were made to be confusing and exhausting, misleading, and arduous.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
When Initiative 42 started out, it was made to be as straightforward and literal as possible. Nobody but the hardworking volunteers who set out to gather signatures expected it to be as successful as it was. So when the Republican-controlled legislature was blindsided by the results, they were forced to show their true colors and it came at a cost.
In creating an unprecedented need for a supermajority of support for 42, they tasked public school supporters with what seemed to be an insurmountable goal. Except support for fully funding education keeps growing, and efforts to "educate the public" to support the alternate amendment keep falling short.
A brave Mississippi parent, Adrian Shipman, stepped up and filed a suit against 42A, arguing that the language was nothing more than an attempt at exhausting voters.
And that at least educated voters on what can only be described as persistent dirty tricks from the Mississippi Republican legislators.
So Rep. Herb Frierson (R-Poplarville) tried to scare other department heads into believing that their own budgets were in jeopardy.
But those scare tactics fell short.
And now we are here. Staring at a massive block of text insisting that a single different word between the legislature's alternative and the initial wording could result in a catastrophe for Mississippi's budget.
We know not to fall for it. But every. single. Republican. that voted for this initiative amendment must be held accountable for this blatant attempt at misleading voters, and more importantly, insisting at all costs that public schools don't receive the support they deserve.
Remember on November 3rd, friends. Not only do Republicans want to kill public schools, they will break the democratic process to do so.