MDA Straw Ballot
Used for Online Voting for MSBDE Dentist Representatives
Make Sure You VOTE!

December is the time for the Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners to solicit votes online from every dentist for dental district representation on the MSBDE.

This is sometimes a confusing process for our dental community. Each dental district (there are six districts total) has a representative on our licensure board that serves a six year term. There is also a member at large dentist and a dental hygienist.

Terms are staggered among the six dental districts, so periodically there are dentists who rotate off the MSBDE upon completion of their term. However in those years in which the dentist representation for a district is not due to change, the MSBDE is still required by state law to maintain a list of dentists, elected by their dentist colleagues, to serve on the MSBDE from that respective district should the need for a representative replacement arise.

It is important to also note that the Governor ultimately appoints the MSBDE representatives. The Governor will request the list identified via the annual MSBDE voting process and then may or may not appoint a dentist to serve from that list.

Another sometimes confusing factor in this process is the MDA Straw Ballot. Each year, at annual MDA district meetings, dentists are asked to review and approve a list of nominated dentist colleagues for service on the MSBDE. This "straw ballot list" is just that, a list for dentists to reference that reminds them of their nominated colleagues from their dental district. This "straw ballot list" is intended to assist our MDA members when they are asked to vote electronically for dentists to serve from their district. This list is important because it includes nominee names of dentists who are respected by their peers and also individuals who agree to do the job if asked to do so.

In closing, our dentists need to understand that this is an important annual process our MSBDE conducts each year. Service on our state dental licensure board is an important job and identifying excellent professionals to serve on the MSBDE is also an important task. As always with an opportunity to vote, exercise your "right" as a dentist to make sure those who serve on your professional board represent you in the best manner possible.