State and Local Legal Blog

Welcome to 2014! | January 6, 2014

Welcome to 2014 from the Stennis Institute!  ]

Let’s start out the year with voting.  We all know that the issue of voter ID is a pressing one that the Secretary of State is apparently “on top of”.    Photo voter ID will begin with congressional elections in June of 2014.  And as a result of a consent decree signed by Judge Starrett in the Southern District of Mississippi, Wilkinson County is going to be cleaning up its (woefully inadequate) voter rolls.

Now State Senator David Blount is going to sponsor a bill in the 2014 regular session to allow online voter registration.  He couples ease of registration with the fact that the photo ID for voting should overcome concerns about online registration.  It may not be smooth sailing for Senator Blount.  The Secretary of State’s spokeswoman says that Hoseman has “serious concerns regarding the security of online voter registration.”  GOP State Chariman Nosef says the party’s main concern would be online security.  DEM State Chairman Cole says his party supports the bill.

The concept is not original to Senator Blount.  As of August 2013, at least 13 states offered online registration and another six states had passed legislation to create online voter registration systems, according the Washington D.C.-based National Conference of State Legislatures.  It is obviously a “workable” concept.  Good luck, Senator Blount!  As someone who was involved in election contests with the municipal elections in 2013, anything that makes accurate registration easier is something that Mississippi should embrace so long as “security issues” are solved.


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