Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said Wednesday that Mississippi’s first election requiring photo identification reinforces his belief that the state no longer needs federal oversight to handle elections and redistricting. The Republican released figures showing 513 Mississippians cast affidavit ballots June 3 because they lacked proper identification, with at least 177 returning later to show ID and get votes counted. Another 298 ballots were rejected because people did not return by the Tuesday deadline, and 13 were rejected for other reasons, such as voters not being registered. Three counties with 25 ballots among them had not reported by Wednesday what happened to those affidavits. A total of 400,000 ballots were cast.
“We were very pleased with the numbers,” Hosemann told reporters. “Obviously they show Mississippi is able to conduct its own elections and Mississippians are able to show up with the constitutionally required documents.”
Mississippi’s law says voters can show one of 10 types of government-issued photo identification. For the past several months, people have been able to go to an election clerk’s office to get a free, state-issued voter ID card.
Lawmakers had squabbled about ID since the mid-1990s, with supporters saying it would prevent people from voting under others’ names and opponents saying there has been scant evidence of that type of fraud. Critics also said an ID requirement would disproportionately hurt minorities, the poor and older voters.
Full Article: State: 513 Miss. voters lacked photo ID on June 3.