Hosemann brings voter ID plan to city

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 23, 2009

Accurate voter rolls and “commonsense” voter identification requirements are among the goals Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann outlined at the local Rotary Club Thursday.

“Vicksburg-Warren County has more people registered to vote than there are people alive here,” Hosemann told the group. “I am determined to get us below 100 percent.”

The Rotarians laughed and applauded.

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Hosemann, a Vicksburg native and Republican in his first term, said he will support legislation to be filed this session that will give local election boards one to two years to clean up the voter rolls. If it’s not finished then, his office will step in and take over the task.

Hosemann supports early voting initiatives, but not until voter registration issues are resolved. Too much opportunity for election fraud exists otherwise, he said.

“I believe voter identification is important,” he said. “Voter ID will restore the integrity of the vote.”

House Bill 430, the “Comprehensive Reform Act of 2009” seeks to establish voter identification standards. Hosemann issued a statement in response last week that said ID requirements are “unmanageable.”

“We need a solid photo ID requirement, issued by a responsible party,” his written response said.

State Rep. George Flaggs said earlier this week that he will support a voter ID bill that exempts people 65 years and older, but that “to require a photo ID to exercise your constitutional right to vote is absolutely unnecessary and can be viewed as intimidating.” Flaggs also supports same-day registration instead of the 30-day advance requirement now set in state law and opening polls to early voting.

A number of voter identification bills have been debated in the Legislature in recent years and consistently defeated. House Hill 430 combines voter ID regulations with an early voting provision.

Other issues discussed by Hosemann, who was in private practice in Jackson before being elected, included legislation filed to track the theft of copper and other metals, the establishment of a Mississippi Entertainment District and business law reform.


Contact Pamela Hitchins at phitchins@vicksburgpost.com.