A voter knows when a campaign is desperate; the candidate is willing to try just about anything. That can be the only reasonable explanation for why an otherswise reasonable person like Lt. Gov. candidate Charlie Ross has issued a press release asking the governor to call a special session to enact a voter ID bill. Everyone knows the drill. Voter ID is an issue designed to put Democrats on the defensive by highlighting the party’s connection to African American voters and the civil rights movement. Ross offers no evidence that voter ID is needed in Mississippi. He cites no example of voter misconduct. What he does do is compare voting with renting a movie. Last time I checked, renting a movie was not a right guaranteed by the constitution of the united states. Voter ID and its cousins like the literacy test and the poll tax were used in Mississippi for 75 years to deny black Mississippians the right to vote. There are plenty of adult Mississippi voters who remember what those times were like. But for the Charlie Ross campaign, he must need a boost, so why not engage in a little political expediency, no matter who you hurt or denigrate.
Clarion Ledger Blog