Information on the voter ID law

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, February 11, 2014

By Bonnie Holland

Guest Columnist 

The Republican Women of Greater Picayune have received several inquires about the new voter ID law. The new law goes into effect with the June 3, 2014 primary. I hope the information included in this column will clear up any confusion and concerns about it. The law was instituted to provide an accurate account of who is voting and to prevent voter fraud. The law has several avenues to receive a free voter ID for citizens who do not have a current form of photo ID. The information provided below has been obtained from the Mississippi Secretary of State’s website. Next month I will resume our usual format of City/State/Local information.

When voting by absentee ballot in person at the circuit clerk’s office or on election day, you will need a photo ID. The following IDs are acceptable:

1. Driver’s License

2. Photo ID issued by a branch, department or entity of the State of Mississippi

3. U.S. passport

4. Government employee ID

5. Firearms license

6. Student photo ID issued by an accredited Mississippi university, college, community/junior college

7. U.S. military ID

8. Any photo ID issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. government or any state government

9. Mississippi Voter ID card

An expired photo ID on the list above is acceptable if it is not more than 10 years old. It must contain the name and photograph of the voter, and be validly issued by federal or state government. Or you can receive a free voter ID card at the circuit’s clerk office. For that ID, you need one of the following forms of identification:

1. Any expired but valid photo ID document having the voter’s name and photograph issued by the U.S. government or any state.

2. Birth certificate or any other document with the voter’s full legal name date and place of birth.

3. Social Security card

4. Medicare card

5. Medicaid card

6. Mississippi Voter registration card

Any of the following, if it includes the voter’s name and current address:

1. Utility bill issued within the last 6 months

2. Bank statement issued within the last 6 months

3. Paycheck issued within the last six months

4. Government check issued within the last six months

5. IRS form, W-2, Wages and Tax Statement issued within the last calendar year

If a voter does not have any of these documents the Circuit Clerk’s office can verify a voter’s birth information free of charge. The voter must give the Circuit Clerk their full legal name, date of birth, state of birth, gender at birth, and their mother’s maiden name.

Exemptions are voters who vote an absentee ballot by mail, fax or email and voters with religious objections to being photographed.

Free transportation will be available to voters who need help getting a MS voter ID card. For more information, contact the Secretary of State’s voter ID hotline at 1-855-868-3745.

The Republican Women of Greater Picayune will be hosting a meeting on March 3, 2014 at 10 a.m. at Crosby Library. The guest speakers will be Hal and Sharon Kittrell. The topic will be drug abuse, prosecution and available treatments for Mississippi residents

(Bonnie is the President of the Republican Women of Greater Picayune.)