On November 8, Mississippi voters will head to the polls for a statewide general election. The ballot includes three statewide questions, including one on voter ID. Absentee voting has already started in the state’s 82 counties and election officials have begun to prepare voting machines for Election Day.
Now, however, the election community is scrambling to correct an omission on the ballot: language detailing the fiscal impact of voter ID and two other initiatives. Last Friday, the state Attorney General notified the Secretary of State’s office that the ballots published to the counties in mid-September lacked the following required language for the voter ID initiative:
Based on Fiscal Year 2010 information, the Department of Public Safety issued 107,094 photo IDs to offset a portion of $17.92 cost per ID. The cost is estimated to remain the same, but the assessment will no longer be allowable under the provision of Initiative 27 (voter ID). Therefore, the Department of Public Safety is estimated to see a loss of revenue of approximately $1,499,000.
Also, two other initiatives without fiscal impacts will get this language: “There is no determinable cost or revenue impact associated with this initiative.”
In response, counties will be adding the language to voting machines and including it as an insert with absentee ballots. A Jackson County election commissioner described the mistake as “irritating” but vowed “we’ll get through this.”