Voter I.D. cards needed for few
Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 29, 2014
Photographic identification will be required when voters head to the polls for the June 3 primary election.
However, 99 percent of Mississippi residents already carry the proper identification in their wallet or purse, said Sherri Bevis with the Secretary of State’s office in Gulfport.
Forms of identification that will suffice when voting include; a driver’s license; photo I.D. card issued by a branch, department or entity of Mississippi; U.S. passport; government employee identification card; firearms license; student photo I.D. issued by an accredited Mississippi university, college or community/junior college; U.S. military I.D.; tribal photo I.D.; or any other photo I.D. issued by any branch, department, agency or entity within the United States, Bevis said.
If a voter does not have any of those forms of identification then they will need to secure a voter identification card from the Circuit Clerk’s Office, Bevis said.
“What we need is to find that one percent that doesn’t get out much and doesn’t have an I.D.,” Bevis said. “That’s the most important thing, is for people to go vote.”
An out of state driver’s license can also be used as voter identification, so long as the citizen is registered to vote in Mississippi, Bevis said. Expired and suspended driver’s licenses also work, so long as they are not expired for more than 10 years.
Bevis shared this information with a group of Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce members during Friday’s Morning Call Breakfast.
Anyone who knows a neighbor or relative who may require a voter identification card should assist them in that acquisition, Bevis said.
Most people who require a voter identification card will need transportation to the Circuit Clerk’s Office. In response, the state is providing free transportation to the Circuit Clerk’s office by calling 1-844-678-6837.
To obtain a voter identification card the citizen will need to bring any one of the following items; an expired but valid document with the voter’s name and photograph that was issued by the federal or state government; birth certificate; social security card; Medicare or Medicaid card; or a Mississippi voter registration card. The following documents issued within the past six months will also work; a utility bill, bank statement or a paycheck or government check. Also, an IRS W-2 form or wages and tax statement issued in the current calendar year can also be used to obtain a voter identification card.
If for some reason the primary election date arrives and a voter does not have proper identification they will still be able to vote via affidavit ballot.
However, the voter will have five days to bring a valid photo I.D. to the Circuit Clerk’s Office or the ballot will not be counted, Bevis said.
So far, only 550 voter identification cards have been issued in Mississippi, Bevis said.