Viewpoint: Voter's Decide Voter ID - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Viewpoint: Voter's Decide Voter ID

The issue of requiring voter identification has been one of contention for over a decade in Mississippi.  Many believe that it is the most effective way to help insure against election fraud.  Frankly, for years I was puzzled as to why I had never been asked for any sort of identification before being allowed to cast a ballot at the polls.  After all, almost everything—from cashing a check to buying tobacco products—requires some sort of I.D.

The opposition to voter ID has mostly come from those who feel that it might intimidate minority voters who remember the days of Jim Crow discrimination over the right to vote.  I'd certainly like to think we are far, far removed from any such threat or even the fear of it.  If, in the minds of some, we are not…legitimate non-discriminatory voter identification would remove the suspicion and doubt.

I think in a state like Mississippi where there is such a large number of African-American elected officials…it should be clear that those bad old days of voter discrimination are gone forever and there are plenty of safe-guards to see that they never return.

Now the people get to have the last word on the subject.  This week Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann announced that a petition with over 130,000 signatures to put the issue on the ballot in 2011 had been certified.  We believe the people will do the right thing. 

I'm Jim Cameron with today's Viewpoint.  Drop us a line and let us know what's on your mind.

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