Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann is launching a campaign to educate the public about Mississippi’s new voter ID law.
The requirement was approved by 62 percent of voters at the ballot box two years ago. For the first time in state history, voters will have to prove their identity before they can cast a ballot starting in the June 3rd federal primary election.
In a Monday news conference, Hosemann showed reporters a mockup of the new photo ID cards, and which forms of identification is approved and how those with no ID can register to get an acceptable voter card free of charge.
Hosemann says a student photo ID, U.S. passport, firearms license, tribal photo ID, and even an expired driver’s license can be used to cast a ballot.
The outreach campaign also includes two TV spots that started airing on stations around the state Monday.
But opponents, like Jackson civil rights activist Ineva May-Pittman, believe voter ID is a modern day version of the poll tax.
May Pittman showed us her poll tax receipt from 1957, which was a Jim Crow-era fee designed to discourage blacks from voting.
Other critics, including members of the legislative black caucus, are considering legal action to stop it from taking effect.
The legislature set aside $400,000 for the secretary of state to defend the law if it’s challenged in court.