As the primary sponsor of the Voter ID initiative several years ago, it comes as no great shock to me that the Justice Department is taking their time in reviewing our Voter ID law proposal and that it conveniently will not be in place in time for the November 6, 2012 general election. I can tell you that as the leader of the Voter ID initiative and someone who worked alongside of literally hundreds of other Mississippians to get the thousands of signatures required to place this on the ballot, and who was overwhelmed with the 62% of Mississippians who endorsed this great improvement in our elections system at the polls, I don’t think that Mississippians take their votes lightly.
I believe that anyone who understands (like I do) that there is voter fraud occurring in our elections throughout the state and who does not support meaningful voter reforms to help clean up that system is part of the problem instead of part of the solution. In the Democratic election in 2007 in Jefferson Davis County’s Circuit Clerk’s election, there was proven voter fraud to the extent that a specially appointed judge threw out the election results and a new election was held yielding a different result. In that election dead people voted as did a person who was in a hospital the entire day two counties over from Jefferson Davis County. The problem is real and a strong Voter ID law is part of the solution.
Just as President Ronald Reagan famously said (and I agree with as Senate Finance Chairman) not balancing the budget leads to inflation and bonding and borrowing add debt to the taxpayers, so too fraudulent voting leads to corruption of our voting systems and therefore, leads folks to question those election results.
I hope that our elected leaders will take note of the strong vote of support by the citizens of the State of Mississippi for a strong Voter ID law and that the Justice Department will do their job quickly and get our law approved. I think in this time that it is crucial that we pray for our leaders and pray for the direction of our country. To that end, I would like to add that I am currently working with the Capitol Christian Prayer and Ministry Group Chairman, Rev. Ben B. James, Jr., and one of our Advisory Board Members, Mrs. Pat Bruce, on a prayer rally event to be held at the First United Methodist Church in Madison, Mississippi, prior to the election so that we can pray for our leaders and our country during this crucial time leading up to our national general election. I encourage you all to attend and join us in prayer for our nation at this pivotal hour! We are planning those particulars now and will keep all posted about the date and time.
Senator Joey Fillingane