Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann told lawmakers today he expects Mississippi’s voter ID law will not receive Department of Justice approval and will go to court, but he expects it to fare better in court than other states who have had their plans shot down. “We are better than Texas,” Hosemann said. He said Texas’ plan, rejected by a three judge federal panel, would cost people money to receive an ID to show at polls and require some to drive as far as 250 miles to get one. Hosemann said Mississippi’s plan is to allow people to go to any county courthouse and get a free ID, and to accept student IDs unlike Texas.
Hosemann said his office is still studying other states’ cases with Justice and the courts and working to promulgate rules that avoid problems others have faced with approval. He said he’s unsure when that will be finished. He said he also plans to ask lawmakers for funding in the 2013 session to implement an ID program statewide, including costs to install ID making equipment and transportation to courthouses for people who need it. Hosemann said he doesn’t have estimates of these costs yet. Hosemann asked to carry over about $500,000 the Legislature approved this year for legal expenses for an expected voter ID legal battle. Even with that Hosemann said his requested budget is $200,000 less than current year.