BRIAN PERRY/Voter ID’s long journey

In 2009, Hosemann was an advocate for early voting (he now opposes it) and he was convinced it was the key to compromise to pass voter-ID in the legislature. House Republicans were anxious to pass any voter-ID and then Senate Election Committee Chairman Terry C. Burton (R-Newton) argued the legislation could be made palatable without killing it. Still, the “Gang of Four” was adamantly opposed to the other provisions in the bill.  According to Flowers, after tabling and killing “The Early Voting Act,” Burton accused him of “stabbing me in the back.”  Flowers objected to that characterization and told Burton he was looking at him face to face, “I stabbed you in the gut.”

At the time, the Mississippi Republican Party had taken a position in opposition to early voting and stood in solidarity with the “Gang of Four.” Many legislators had been convinced that there would never be voter-ID without early voting…

…Hosemann concludes his article, “Mississippians proved to the country and to themselves our State is able to overcome political and racial barriers and conduct our elections without federal oversight. By inclusion, open debate, political discourse, countless hours of hard work, and careful, well-executed planning, Mississippians were able to not only implement a constitutional voter identification requirement, but do so in a fair and open manner without disenfranchising any voter. Mississippi is not the State of our grandfathers, but it is the State for the future of our grandchildren.”

To the vindication of the Senate “Gang of Four,” Mississippi also proved it could implement voter-ID without passing early voting.

Neshoba Democrat