DELBERT HOSEMANN: Voter ID: A new chapter in state history

On Tuesday, voters will head to the polls to cast their ballot in the primary election. This date is historic for Mississippi and is the first time Mississippians are required to present acceptable photo identification at the polls.

Since this constitutional initiative was adopted by an overwhelming majority of Mississippi voters, our office has traveled across the state educating voters on the new voter ID requirement. The process of implementation was authorized by the Mississippi Legislature, vetted with dozens of interested parties, discussed numerous times with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, and finalized in regulations by our office. The voter ID advertisements were conceived by Mississippians, produced by Mississippians and paid for by the taxpayers of Mississippi. The Democratic Party, the Republican Party and our faith-based community are all working toward the common goal of issuing voter IDs for the less than 1 percent who may need them.

Mississippi has received two national awards for our state’s voter ID campaign.

It was not long ago our state would be served with a lawsuit on voting matters rather than national recognition for such a prestigious award.

Free transportation to 92 circuit clerks’ offices, free verification of birth certificates in those locations, and free voter ID cards has eased the process. No other state went to such lengths for its citizens.