Voter ID measure could be placed on 2011 ballot - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Voter ID measure could be placed on 2011 ballot

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By Monica Hernandez - bio | email | twitter

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -  The long debate over voter ID could be placed in the hands of those casting the ballots.

Mississippians are expected to learn Monday whether a Republican-led petition gathered enough signatures to place a voter identification measure on the 2011 general election ballot. That would require at least 100,000 certified John Hancocks.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann is expected to announce whether the petition met its goal in his office in the state capitol Monday afternoon.

Governor Haley Barbour was among those who signed the petition. Republicans pushed hard over the past six months to gather signatures, kicking off a nine-city statewide tour in August.

According to supporters, the Magnolia state needs voter ID to stop election fraud.

But opponents said it's unnecessary, and could bar certain groups from going to the polls, such as the elderly or those without drivers licenses.

Under the initiative in question, voters would have to show photo ID to cast a ballot, but those who can't afford one could get a photo ID free of charge from the Department of Public Safety.

While Republicans are drumming up support for the measure, Democrats say they should be focusing on other issues, like the economy.

It was Republicans who killed a voting bill last year in the senate that included a voter ID measure. A spokesman said it included other items Republicans didn't agree with.

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