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Group Calls on Gov. Bryant to Retract Voluntary Voter ID Statement

By Daniel Cherry | Published 05 Nov 2012 07:53pm | comments
Some Mississippians are calling on Governor Phil Bryant to retract a statement he made last week suggesting voters voluntarily show their photo IDs when they go to the polls today. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how some believe the statement is misleading to voters.
 
A group called Voting Rights for All Mississippi is up in arms following Governor Bryant's suggestion voters should voluntarily show their ID at the polls. David Denny, an organizer for the group says they've collected more than one thousand online signatures, demanding the Governor retract his statement.
 
"The Governor, as the highest elected official in the state, he knows that people listen to what he has to say. People will think that the law is showing voter ID."
 
Some Mississippi lawmakers, the state ACLU and NAACP also joined in to rebuke the statement. Michelle Colon, a member of Voting Rights for All Mississippi, echoes their concern that Governor Bryant is intentionally muddying the waters surrounding voting in the state.
 
"He's intentionally misleading voters and abusing his position in power as the Governor in promoting his own personal agenda. As our state's highest elected official, his behavior is very irresponsible and borderline bullying."
 
Governor Bryant responded by saying the groups are misrepresenting his comments and showing ID could even simplify the voting process for poll workers.
 
"So it identifies who you are and what your address is, and we're going to see how it works. They don't have to do it. It's certainly a volunteer program. It's amazing to me how some folks overreact to just a simple idea "
 
Mississippi voters DID approve a voter ID law last year, but the Justice Department hasn't cleared the state's plan, so no ID is required to vote in today's election.

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