Mississippi Republican Party officials made a local stop Thursday on their statewide tour to promote a ballot initiative that would require Mississippi voters to show a photo ID.
Republicans and Democrats have fought bitterly over “Voter ID” in the Legislature for years. This year, GOP Sens. Billy Hewes III, R-Gulfport; Merle Flowers, R-Southaven; Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville; and Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, killed a voter ID measure in committee that they said was loaded with things they didn’t agree with, including some provisions related to felons’ voting rights and early voting. The move drew anger from some Republicans, who had worked on the bill and supported voter ID. Fillingane sponsored the ballot initiative, which ramped up recently and so far has collected about 25,000 signatures.
“The only way we are going to have photo voter identification laws in Mississippi is for the people to vote it in,” Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Brad White said Thursday as members of his party gathered on the steps of Harrison County’s Biloxi courthouse.