The use of voter ID for the first time in Mississippi has largely been characterized as inconsequential. One conservative news website noted, accurately, “Voter ID Law in Mississippi Did Not Bring On End of the World,” on June 3 in the statewide party primaries. Syndicated columnist Sid Salter wrote: “Despite the predictions of post-apocalyptic turmoil from opponents of adopting a voter identification law in Mississippi, the debut of voter ID in Mississippi in practical application was a non-event. Voters didn’t recoil from the process as predicted, and there is no discernible evidence that voter ID had any impact on voter turnout.” … Despite the rhetoric of Hosemann, Salter and others, it’s not clear whether the voter-ID requirement dampened voter turnout. The critics of such laws contend that the requirements disproportionately affect poor people, African Americans, Latinos, young people and college students, all of whom tend to vote Democratic. On June 3, approximately 400,000 people cast votes.
Most of those—313,483—were Republicans hoping to decide a heated U.S. Senate primary between incumbent Thad Cochran and state Sen. Chris McDaniel of Laurel. Only 84,339 people voted in the Democratic primary, in which analysts expected former U.S. Rep. Travis Childers to easily capture his party’s nomination for Senate. Interestingly, that number closely mirrored turnout in the 2012 Democratic primary, a presidential election year, which usually sees the greatest voter participation.
… But Larry Norden, deputy director of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program, told the Associated Press that people who may have otherwise voted stayed away. “That doesn’t mean there weren’t a lot of people without IDs who didn’t vote,” he said, although he said such figures are hard to prove.