The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal Editorial, 2/23/9

It’s rare if not unprecedented for a committee chairman in the Mississippi Legislature to suggest circumventing the legislative process. That’s what Senate Judiciary A chairman Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, proposes on voter identification if the Legislature doesn’t act this year.

Fillingane is preparing an initiative petition, which would require about 100,000 signatures, to get photo ID on the ballot as a constitutional amendment. It’s an indication of the intensity of feelings on a subject that has been before the Legislature for years without resolution.

It’s time to resolve voter ID, and lawmakers should do it with legislation. This isn’t a matter for the state Constitution.

Claims of rampant voter fraud in Mississippi aren’t backed by evidence. But there’s value in adding another level of protection to the integrity of the voting process, even if it prevents only an occasional attempt at fraud.