Mississippi's Congressional primary election went off without a hitch Tuesday demonstrating that voter ID laws do not suppress voters, discriminate, or impact turnout.
Despite warnings that passing a voter ID law would turn election day ugly, Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann was pleased when in 2011 62 percent of voters in his state approved a constitutional amendment to require a photo ID when citizens cast their votes. Tuesday was the law's debut at the polls.
For The Clarion-Ledger, syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes, "Imagine my absolute shock on Election Day when I approached the South Starkville precinct with my wife and we were indeed not overrun by voters stampeding from the precinct in fright over the requirement that they produce a photo ID in order to vote."
In fact, Salter described it as a "non-event" saying the people's response was no different than when they have to show ID to board a plane or when banking. He adds that reports across the state "were consistent" and that there was "no discernible impact of predicted voter suppression."
Ledger reported only one voter turned away who lacked a proper ID. However, Election Commissioner Trudy Berger said it was a misunderstanding and that they are trained so that no one is told they can't vote. The law states that if you do not have proper ID, you can vote by affidavit ballot and show ID within five business days. Berger said an election commissioner was sent down right away to resolve the problem.
Speaking to the media, Secretary Hosemann praised the training his election officials went through to prepare for Tuesday and said, "We believe Mississippians were ready to put this issue behind us. It was time for us to close this chapter in our history. We have done so today.”