Members of Voting Rights for All MS and the state chapter of the ACLU gathered on the second-floor rotunda inside the Capitol today at 1 p.m. to demand Gov. Phil Bryant retract recent comments about voter ID that the group believes could mislead voters.
A petition at Signon.org has received more than 1,000 signatures demanding that Gov. Bryant retract statements he made about voters presenting ID at the polls.
The state's voter ID law has not received approval from the U.S. Department of Justice, and therefore is not in effect for tomorrow's election. Voters will be able to vote without any form of photo ID.
The petition came in response to Bryant's comments Oct. 31 after the Mississippi Economic Council's Hobnob.
"If you have to show a ID to buy a pack of cigarettes or to buy alcohol, which you should, then certainly you ought to have to present an ID to vote, so that we are certain that you're not stealing someone else's liberty and their chance to vote," Bryant said.
"We are calling on Gov. Bryant to immediately retract his statements asking for voters to show ID at the polls, and to clarify that there is no voter ID law in effect for the election tomorrow," David Denney of Voting Rights for All MS said at the Capitol. "As the highest elected official in the state, Gov. Bryant should know better than to make such statements, knowing that people listen to what he has to say."
Mississippi ACLU Director of Programs Nancy Kohsin-Kintigh encouraged any voters who are victims of or witness any discrimination, unfair or illegal practices at the polls tomorrow to call the ACLU at 888-354-ACLU (2258).
The petition reads: "Governor Bryant, the people of Mississippi call on you to immediately issue a retraction of your misleading statement to the Mississippi Economic Council calling on voters to present ID at their polling places this election. Furthermore, we call on you to clarify, unequivocally that photo ID is not required at the polls and the Voter ID law will not be in effect for this election on Tues., Nov. 6th. You are elected to represent ALL Mississippians and your actions are plain wrong, bordering on dereliction of your constitutional duty."