Star Herald Report
The Star Herald
In the November 2011 General Election, over 62% of Mississippi voters approved a constitutional initiative requiring voters to show identification at the polls. The requirement must now be approved by either the Department of Justice (DOJ) or the federal courts before it is implemented.
Mississippi wants a fair shake in receiving approval for its voter ID requirement. Recently, an employee of the Justice Department, working in the Voting Rights section, called Mississippi “shameful and disgusting.” Her comments were unprofessional, unwarranted, irresponsible and misguided and are an indication Mississippi’s voter ID submission may not receive fair consideration.
I will continue to work on behalf of our citizens to implement the voter identification requirement overwhelmingly approved by Mississippi voters, regardless of the opposition our Agency encounters. I will do so in the most cost-effective, efficient and timely manner possible to Mississippi taxpayers. That is what you hired me to do.
Therefore, we are beginning the process for locating individuals who may not have one of the acceptable forms of identification. Please remember, eligible Mississippians will still be able to vote absentee by mail without a voter ID.
We are taking a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to the Constitutional requirement. By beginning to identify individuals who will need a free voter ID card now, we can expedite the process for providing them proper identification later. In rare instances, this may be the first time an individual has any identification, in a time when identification is so often required. We look forward to providing the voter ID card at no cost to any eligible Mississippian. We intend to make these available no further than your local courthouse.
Now we come to your part. If you or someone you know will need a voter ID card once the requirement is approved, I encourage you to contact the Secretary of State’s Office. We can be reached toll free at 1-855-868-3745 or you can email us at MSVoterID@sos.ms.gov. You can visit www.MSVoterID.ms.gov for more information on the voter ID requirement and submit your information to our Office. We will also arrange for free transportation to those who may need assistance obtaining a voter ID card from their local courthouse.
We look forward to working with you in implementing this most important law. Voter ID will help ensure the integrity of our vote, and it is one step in needed election reforms. Together, we can work to bring more confidence to Mississippi elections.
Secretary of State