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Secretary Of State Hosemann: ‘Obvious’ Justice Department Will Reject Voter ID Law

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 27 Jul 2012 04:40pm | comments
Governor Phil Bryant signs the law while Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann looks on.

Mississippi's Secretary of State now believes the US Justice Department will reject Mississippi's voter ID law.

Because of a history of racial discrimination, the federal government must approve any changes to Mississippi's election laws.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann had previously said he was 'hopeful' the law would be approved....he has since changed his mind.

"And we were very hopeful that we would reach some kind of reasonable expectation that we could work back and forth on some issues as you have heard us discuss today. But that quickly has just degenerated with their positions in the Texas, South Carolina, and now the Pennsylvania case,"

Hosemann's comments come as he strongly critiqued a recent report from the Brennan center for Justice at New York University that claimed nearly 50-thousand Mississippians could face major difficulty getting an ID.

Hosemann called the report false because it did not count the 92 county offices that will distribute ID's.

"And this myth that they propose of having 48-thousand people that don't have ID in Mississippi is just inflammatory and false by their own admission," Hosemann said.

Hosemann also points out that Mississippi is tied into a national database that allows them to search birth certificate data, which he says undermines the report's claim that it will cost 15-dollars for Mississippians to get the proper documents to get an ID.

Sundeep Iyer with the Brennan Center says they excluded the county courthouses because only one other state, Georgia, uses courthouses as ID sites.

"And what we found in Georgia was pretty remarkable. As a general matter, voters actually had quite a bit of difficulty getting these ID from county offices. A lot of their information wasn't easily available on line. Some of those offices weren't easy to contact and other didn't really know much about the free voter IDs," Iyer said.

Hosemann says the delay...and likely rejection of the law...by the US Justice department means Mississippi’s voter ID law will not be enforced for the November General election.

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Governor Phil Bryant signs the law while Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann looks on.


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