State officials are running into problems with the new voter-identification law even before the federal government has approved or rejected it. Voters without a photo ID are facing a circular problem: They need a certified birth certificate to get the voter ID, and they need a photo ID to get the birth certificate. Pamela Weaver, spokeswoman of the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office, today confirmed the catch-22 problem, which the Jackson Free Press learned about from a complaint posted on Facebook. One of the requirements to get the free voter ID cards is a birth certificate, but in order to receive a certified copy of your birth certificate in Mississippi, you must have a photo ID. Not having the photo ID is why most people need the voter ID in the first place.
The acceptable forms of identification to receive a birth certificate are the same as the acceptible voter ID forms, with the additions of an alien registration certificate, a permanent residence card and a temporary resident card. In the November 2011 election, 62 percent of Mississippi voters approved the Voter ID bill that would require voters to show a photo ID at the polls.