Statement on Voter ID by Charlie Ross

Last week, we had a break through in Jackson. The Governor called a special session focusing on economic development, and we got something big done in just a short time — in less than a full day.

When the legislature focuses on only one issue, we get things done. People have no where to hide.

We have some more unfinished business to complete. We need to secure the right of every Mississippian to an honest vote. That is why today I am calling on Governor Barbour to convene a special session for the legislature to pass voter I.D. We need to pass voter I.D. now so it will be in place for this year’s election.

Our voting process is one of the least secure processes in public life — and when the process is not secure, the fundamental civil right is not secure.

We must take action now to secure that every Mississippian has an equal right to an honest vote, and an equal right to have their vote counted, and an equal right to know that there are elections that are legitimate.

We must take action now to protect the right to vote by requiring voter identification.

You have to show I.D. when you cash a check, when you rent a movie, when you apply for a job, when you check into a hotel, when you rent a car, when you go into a health club, when you check into the hospital, and the list could go on. We protect your rights in all these instances by requiring identification. The same needs to be done for our voting process.

This is an election year. Mississippi does not need to go through another election cycle without a secure voting process. Mississippians, this year, deserve the equal right to know that their vote will count in an honest election.

Many people have died for the right to vote. The right to vote is too precious to not protect. That’s why we need voter I.D.

The Governor of this state supports voter I.D. The Senate supports voter I.D.

There is one reason we have not yet required voter identification under Mississippi law. That’s because the House leadership has denied the full House a vote.

Just like on tort reform and balancing the budget, special sessions were necessary to focus enough sunshine on the legislative process to change the status quo. I believe the same is now true for voter I.D.

The time is now to move Mississippi forward.

I call upon Governor Barbour to call the legislature into a special session within the next few weeks so we can pass voter I.D. and have it in place for this year’s elections. And, I call on Speaker McCoy to come to Jackson with a new energy and a commitment to let the House members vote up or down on voter I.D. and secure our ballot box. If the House leadership will allow a vote, we can do the people’s work quickly.

Charlie Ross Campaign
Press Release
5/1/7