US District court ruling will have positive effect on MS elections
In the case of Mississippi State Democratic Party Executive Committee vs. Haley Barbour et al, an order was issued by federal Judge Allen Pepper on Friday. This ruling marks a significant election reform in Mississippi. The ruling will require voters to present a voter registration card and photo Id to participate in Mississippi primary election contests. The ruling mandates that the Mississippi legislature pass a voter identification bill which will include mandatory party registration or for a voter to designate him or herself as unaffiliated. All Mississippi voters will be effected by this decision.

Delbert Hosemann said: “United States District Judge Allen Pepper has ruled what common sense has told Mississippians for years- Mississippi law is unconstitutional where it does not allow for voter photo identification for all primary elections. The ruling states that voters are to be allowed to register to vote in a party or to register as unaffiliated and when they show up to vote, they must present a registration card and a photo ID.”

The Court specifically agrees with the Hosemann campaign’s previously stated position “Without the requirement of a photo ID, there would be room for dishonesty which would call into question the security of the election process” and a photo ID requirement “would not pose an unreasonable burden upon the citizenry of Mississippi.”

“As Secretary of State, I will vigorously fight for a constitutional voter ID process, including provisions for those of our senior Mississippians who do not have a drivers license, not only in primary elections but in general elections” said Hosemann.

While this ruling specifically applies to primary elections, the Mississippi legislature must have a consistent policy for the Secretary of State to administer the general elections and the requirements should not be different from election to election or the voters will be confused and enforcement will be more difficult. The Case further holds that no elections after August 7th 2007, except any runoffs, will be held without this voter identification requirement and that deceased Mississippians are finally purged from the voting rolls.

Delbert Hosemann will be available to members of the media for background interviews this week via telephone, his extensive study of the case in question and legal expertise will be available to those seeking specifics regarding this complicated ruling.

Delbert Hosemann Press Release