A study shows more than 98 percent of voters who voted in the November general election have one form of acceptable photo identification that would satisfy the state’s Voter ID law, which is awaiting U.S. Department of Justice approval, says Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. The study of 5,965 voters from all demographic groups showed 98.3 percent of voters interviewed after exiting polls had at least one of the eight forms of photo ID outlined as acceptable under the Voter ID law. Hosemann said today that he hopes the information will help gain Justice Department approval for the state’s voter ID law.
Hosemann said he will turn his attention to making sure the less than two percent without an acceptable photo ID can easily obtain one, free of charge from circuit clerks’ offices.
He said under proposed administrative rules for the new voter ID requirements, a person can obtain the free voter ID card at a clerk’s office by presenting the same material accepted to register to vote. And if a person doesn’t have that information available, the clerk’s office will be able to access birth records that would prove the person’s identity and allow them to get the photo Voter ID card.
“Our agency will focus on ensuring every voter who does not have an acceptable photo ID will be able to obtain one easily, free of charge,” Hosemann said.
Under an agreement with the Mississippi Department of Transportation, those who don’t have transportation to a clerk’s office will be provided free transportation, according to Hosemann.
Some civil rights groups and others, including the state NAACP, have objected to the need for a Voter ID law, saying it could discourage some people from voting.