Hosemann Says Most Voters Have Photo ID

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann says over 98% of the state's voters have at least one acceptable form of photo ID.

The information was compiled by Edison Research through a survey of Mississippi voters who cast ballots in the 2012 general election.

Hosemann announced the findings Wednesday of what is believed to be the largest survey of Mississippi voters ever conducted.

"The survey helps us accurately gauge the number and profile of the voters we need to reach," said Hosemann. "I am encouraged the survey found less than 1% of the voters did not have a photo ID. Less than 1% is a manageable number for implementing constitutional voter ID. "

Hosemann said Edison personally surveyed almost 6,000 Mississippi voters as they exited 30 polling locations selected randomly across the state. Survey results show 98.3% of those surveyed reported having at least one of the eight forms of photo ID. Only 0.8% of respondents reported having none of the eight forms of photo ID. 0.9% did not answer the question.

Hosemann said his office is committed to making sure the small number of other voters will be able to get an acceptable photo ID free of charge.

Hosemann also released proposed administrative rules for the new Voter ID requirement. Under these rules, any voter who lacks an acceptable photo ID may obtain a free voter ID card from their circuit clerk’s office by presenting the same materials accepted to register to vote under the federal Help America Vote Act.

The secretary says his office has an agreement with the Department of Vital Statistics to allow circuit clerks to verify birth records of voters who cannot provide these materials, at no cost to the voter.

The Secretary of State’s Office will also enter into an agreement with the Mississippi Department of Transportation to utilize existing transportation services to provide free transportation for voters who need a free voter ID card but lack transportation to the Circuit Clerk’s Office.