Voter ID Procedures Sent to Justice Dept.

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann says proposed administrative rules for the new voter photo identification law have been delivered to the United States Department of Justice for approval.

Voters passed the ID requirement but its implementation has been held up, awaiting federal approval.

Hosemann said the state needs to be ready, should the Department of Justice or federal court give pre-clearance.

"Our Agency is proposing procedures to ensure every eligible voter who does not currently have acceptable photo ID will be able to obtain an ID easily and free of charge," Hosemann said.

Hosemann said under the proposed rules, any voter who lacks an acceptable photo ID may get one free from a Mississippi Circuit Clerk’s Office by presenting the same identification materials accepted when an individual registers to vote under the federal Help America Vote Act.

Hosemann said the state has agreements in place to allow circuit clerks to verify birth records of voters who cannot provide these materials, at no cost to the voter. It also has 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.

Hosemann said over 99% of citizens are within twenty miles of a Mississippi Circuit Clerk’s Office.

A November 2012 General Election survey of 6,000 Mississippi voters showed only 0.8% of respondents reported having none of the eight forms of acceptable photo identification.

The submission letter to the United States Department of Justice and the administrative rules may be viewed at the Secretary of State’s website. A link is provided below.