Chickasaw supervisors face deadline to put Confederate monument question on ballot

Associated Press
July 8, 2004

HOUSTON, Miss. – Chickasaw County supervisors must act quickly if they want a Confederate monument issue to appear on the November ballot, Circuit Clerk Sandra Willis said.

During a board meeting this week, Willis told supervisors the wording of the nonbinding referendum must be approved by the State Election Commission and the ballots must be printed in time for absentee voting before the Nov. 2 election. County voters will be asked whether a Confederate monument should be placed on the county courthouse lawn.

Willis said the approval process will take at least 60 days. During the meeting, supervisors said they hadn’t begun working on the wording of the issue.

On May 2, supervisors voted to rescind an earlier motion allowing the Sons of Confederate Veterans to erect a 9-foot monument honoring Confederate soldiers. In the same meeting, they opted to let voters decide the issue.

Thomas Guido, former supervisor and president the Concerned Citizens of Chickasaw County, said supervisors "want this to hush." Guido said the citizens’ group has been encouraging people to register to vote before November.

"This monument has been approved three times," said David Horn, spokesman for the SCV. "They have acted and we have spent money on it. We’ve got about $10,500 in it so far. We have acted in good faith and we would like to go ahead with it."

Horn’s said his legal adviser told him that since the group already has board approval, it could erect the monument regardless of the referendum.

"But we’re trying to act within the official process," he said.