OCTOBER 29, 2008
Less than a week from the presidential election voter rolls in a state that doesn’t require official identification at the polls are loaded with dead people as well as residents no longer qualified to cast ballots there.
The situation is so unbelievable in Mississippi that even the state’s top election official, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, admits it’s terrible. This week Hosemann was actually quoted in a local newspaper saying: "Combined with the fact that we don’t have voter ID in Mississippi, anybody can show up at any poll that happens to know the people who have left town or died and go vote for them."
One county (Madison) has more than 123% more registered voters than people over the age of 18. Nearly 500 registered voters in Madison County are over the age of 105 and others have been registered for four decades but never cast a ballot.
When the potential fraud was discovered, Madison County’s election commissioner tried to purge the rolls but ran into a wall because a purge cannot take place within 90 days of a federal election. Additionally, a purge requires a majority of votes among state election commissioners and, like most actions that require dealing with government bureaucracy, accomplishing that takes time.
Mississippi offers a great argument in favor of voter identification laws, which have been vigorously fought by civil rights groups that claim they disenfranchise poor and minority voters. More than 20 states have enacted laws requiring voters to present photo IDs at the polls and, earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state’s can require it without violating constitutional rights.
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