Hosemann: Prepared To Defend Voter ID In CourtBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 19 Sep 2012 05:26pm |
Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann is preparing to take the fight over the state's voter ID law to the court. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports the Secretary of State expects the federal government will reject the law, and he is ready to defend it.
Secretary of State Hosemann is including nearly 600-thousand dollars in his next budget request for lawyers and experts to fight for the voter ID law in Mississippi.
Hosemann says he is including the money because he expects the law will be rejected by the US Justice Department, and wants to be ready to fight for it.
However, Hoseman thinks Mississippi will fare better than Texas and Pennsylvania, states that recently saw their laws struck down by courts.
"In the end, Mississippi is going to have to show that we in fact do provide at virtually no cost, identifications for anyone that needs it and process that is not burdensome on them to get an ID," Hosemann said.
Even if the voter ID law is approved, Hosemann says the state does not have the infrastructure in place to implement the law by this November's general election.
He is planning to ask lawmakers for more funds to help Mississippians get the required ID.
Attorney General Jim Hood is warning that the cost of litigation could far exceed 600-thousand dollars and says he has yet to find a case of in-person voter fraud in Mississippi.
"We have been researching it and haven't seen one case where someone was prosecuted and convicted of what the voter ID bill is established to try to fix. Where they go up and vote in a dead person's name. We have had allegations of it, but we haven't been able to prove any of it thus far," Hood said.
Secretary of State Hosemann says it is not relevant that there has not been a conviction, pointing out that Mississippi's voters decided a voter ID law would add integrity to the system.
A ruling from the justice department is expected on Mississippi's Voter ID law next month.
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