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.
Mississippi on Tuesday will use its new voter ID law for the first time, culminating a long political fight in a state with a troubled past of voting-rights suppression.
During the month of April, Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann began criss-crossing the state — at taxpayer expense, naturally — to promote the state-mandated Voter ID law that will require Mississippians to produce a state-issued ID before casting a ballot.
New voters in Lowndes County have until Saturday to register with the Lowndes County Circuit Clerk’s office.
For the first time in the history of Mississippi elections, voters will need some form of photo identification to cast a ballot during June 3’s federal congressional primary.
In elections that begin next week, voters in 10 states will be required to present photo identification before casting ballots — the first major test of voter ID laws after years of legal challenges arguing that the measures are designed to suppress voting.
The Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus is asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to block the state’s plan to start using a voter identification law.
About 100 Mississippi Voter ID cards — equal to about three-one thousandths of the state’s population — have been distributed statewide since the start of a campaign to ensure voters are ready for mandatory photo IDs at the polls this year.
Fifteen counties in Mississippi have issued Voter ID cards since the window opened last week for registered voters who need to get one.
Lowndes County isn’t one of those 15, circuit clerk Haley Salazar said Friday, but she expects that to change as the June 3 congressional primaries draw nearer.
Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann visited the Lowndes County Courthouse Monday to supervise the installation of voter ID equipment at Circuit Clerk Haley Salazar’s office.