Democratic response to Republican Voter ID push

JACKSON – The Mississippi Democratic Party today responded to the GOP’s announcement that they would be conducting a statewide tour to drum up support for a Voter ID initiative.

Statements from Chairman Jamie Franks:

“The State of Mississippi is suffering from record unemployment, deep cuts to our health care systems and exorbitant drop-out rates among high schoolers. We have hospitals in South Mississippi facing bankruptcy and furniture manufacturers in North Mississippi fearing closure. Our once promising automotive industry in Mississippi is slowing in Canton and on hold in Tupelo. And the Republicans are focusing their efforts on Voter ID?

“Just like their counterparts on the national level, the state Republican Party is losing touch with what matters most to the people in Mississippi. People here don’t care about politicians’ political posturing; people care about their own jobs, putting food on the table and making sure they can afford to go to the doctor when they get sick.”

Statements from Executive Director Sam Hall:

“It’s odd to us that the Republicans are doing this, considering that it was Repulican senators under the direction of Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant who killed a comprehensive voting bill that included not only voter ID but also early voting initiatives.

“If this doesn’t prove that Republicans are more interested in voter ID as a political wedge issue than really passing meaningful legislation, then I don’t know what does.”

Hall also called into question the process the Republican Party is undertaking to put this initiative on the ballot:

“The courts still have not fully clarified where these signatures must come from. The law says from the state’s five Congressional districts, but we only have four Congressional districts today. Until this is clarified by the courts, it looks like a petition drive is getting the cart before the horse.

“Mississippians should also wonder about the validity of the signatures collected. The Republicans want people to show ID before they vote, but they do not require ID to sign their petition. I know, because I asked numerous signature gatherers at the Neshoba County Fair if ID was required to sign their petition. They all said no.”

MS Democrat Party