Hosemann touts cameras for voter ID cards

HOSEMANN

HOSEMANN

By Lena Mitchell

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH – Corinth was one of several stops Monday for Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, who demonstrated operation of new cameras being installed in circuit clerk’s offices around the state this week.

The cameras are being used to help fulfill Hosemann’s guarantee that under Mississippi’s new voter ID law every eligible voter will be able to obtain the proper identification in a convenient location and at no cost.

Circuit clerk offices register voters, and for anyone who does not already possess one of nine other types of photo identification that can be used for voting in Mississippi, a circuit clerk staff member will be able to take the photo and have the voter identification card mailed to the voter’s address.

Photo identification will be required beginning with June 3, 2014, primary elections, and the new free voter ID service will be available with circuit clerks after Jan. 1. Equipment will be installed in 92 circuit clerk offices by the end of the week.

“We’ve even made arrangements with MDOT (Mississippi Department of Transportation) to give anyone a ride who needs it to obtain the photo ID,” Hosemann said, as he demonstrated the newly-installed camera, computer and software.

Alcorn Circuit Clerk Joe Caldwell and Deputy Clerk Crystal Starling will receive additional training from SOS staff member Matthew Summerlin, who installed the equipment.

Hosemann noted that the procedures go to the utmost lengths to see that everyone is served, including if someone shows up wanting a voter ID card but has no birth certificate or other proof of identity. The clerk will be able to look up the individual’s birth information with the state system, though they have no ability or authority to issue a birth certificate.

“Only someone who doesn’t have any of the other forms of ID will be issued this state voter ID card,” Hosemann said.

The other forms of ID that are acceptable to present at the polls include: a driver’s license; a photo ID issued by an entity of the state of Mississippi; a United States passport; a government employee ID card; a firearms license; a student photo ID card issued by an accredited Mississippi university or college; a U.S. military ID; a tribal photo ID; any other photo ID issued by any branch, department, agency or entity of the U.S. government.

Alcorn County has about 23,000 registered voters, and Hosemann said he expects only about 200 voter ID cards would be issued by the circuit clerk’s office for that size voter population.

lena.mitchell@journalinc.com