Hosemann Solicits Comments on Voter ID

Meridian, Miss. Mississippi voters will likely be required to show a photo ID when voting in 2014.

Key portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. One of them had required Mississippi and some other states to get federal approval for election-related matters.

One of those had held up implementation of a voter ID law approved by a public vote in 2011.

"We just have a good idea that they are who they say they are," said Election Commissioner Wallace Heggie of the photo ID requirement. "It's the democratic thing to do. Really without voter ID, your vote, my vote, is really compromised. So this is a real good step to make sure that everybody's on the up and up when they come in and identify themselves, if they really are who they claim to be."

For any voters who are in need of a photo ID to vote, you may obtain one from your circuit clerk's office for free. But Circuit Clerk Donna Jill Johnson says she isn't expecting a large amount of requests since most voters already have identification.

While there are 44,000 registered voters in Lauderdale County, the circuit clerk's office anticipates that probably less than one percent will actually need one of these IDs.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann has been planning the implementation for this ruling months in advance.

"He took the best of the best advice from all these other states. He found out what the department of justice had issues with," said Johnson. "He tried to tweak and curtail all those problems ahead of time, so if, in fact, Mississippi was allowed the ID that we would have everything in place."

Voters who already have a form of photo ID will not be affected by this law.

The secretary of state is also soliciting comments from any Mississippi residents who have questions or concerns about the voter ID law.

To contact the secretary of state's office, call 601-359-1350, or visit the website. A link is provided below.