2005 Regular Session
To: Apportionment and Elections
By: Representative Eaton
AN ACT TO REQUIRE EACH ELECTOR TO PRESENT IDENTIFICATION BEFORE VOTING AT THE POLLS OR BY ABSENTEE BALLOT; TO PROVIDE EXCEPTIONS FOR CERTAIN AGE GROUPS AND DISABLED PERSONS; TO PROVIDE A PENALTY FOR A PERSON WHO WILLFULLY INTERFERES WITH AN ELECTOR'S RIGHT TO VOTE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, each elector shall present valid identification to an election manager, or the registrar or deputy registrar in the case of absentee voting in the office of the registrar, before he shall be allowed to vote. Valid identification shall consist of any one (1) of the following:
(a) A valid Mississippi driver's license;
(b) A valid identification card issued by a branch, department, agency or entity of the State of Mississippi;
(c) A valid United States passport;
(d) A valid employee identification card containing a photograph of the elector and issued by any branch, department agency or entity of the United States government, the State of Mississippi, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of this state;
(e) A valid employee identification card containing a photograph of the elector and issued by any employer of the elector in the ordinary course of the employer's business;
(f) A valid student identification card containing a photograph of the elector from any public or private college, university, or postgraduate, technical or professional school located within the State of Mississippi;
(g) A valid Mississippi license to carry a pistol or revolver;
(h) A valid pilot's license issued by the Federal Aviation Administration or other authorized agency of the United States;
(i) A valid United States military identification card;
(j) A certified copy of the elector's birth certificate;
(k) A valid social security card;
(l) Certified naturalization documentation;
(m) Social security documentation;
(n) Official voter registration card;
(o) Medicaid identification card;
(p) Medicare identification card;
(q) Food stamp recipient EBT card;
(r) A postmarked mailing which was addressed to the voter;
(s) A current utility bill;
(t) A current bank statement; or
(u) Any other generally recognized form of photographic identification.
(2) If an elector is unable to produce any of the items of identification listed in subsection (1) of this section, he or she
shall sign a statement in a form approved by the State Board of Election Commissioners, affirming that he or she is the person identified on the pollbooks. One (1) of the election mangers, or the registrar or deputy registrar in the case of absentee voting at the office of the registrar, shall sign the statement as a witness to the affirmation by the elector. The person shall be allowed to vote without undue delay. Any elector who falsely affirms the statement prescribed in this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000.00) or in prison not more than one (1) year, or both.
(3) (a) The following electors shall not be required to present identification pursuant to subsection (1) of this section if they are not required to present identification under the Help America Vote Act of 2002:
(i) Through June 30, 2013, electors who are fifty (50) years of age or older;
(ii) From and after July 1, 2013, electors who are sixty-five (65) years of age or older; and
(iii) Electors who are permanently physically disabled who have filed the statement provided for in paragraph (b) of this subsection.
(b) Persons who are permanently physically disabled may file with the registrar a statement signed and sworn to by such person's physician or nurse practitioner which shows that the affiant is a licensed practicing medical doctor or nurse practitioner and indicates that the person is permanently physically disabled. Persons who are permanently physically disabled and who file such statement shall not be required to present identification pursuant to subsection (1) of this section at any election subsequent to the date upon which the statement was filed.
(c) The pollbooks and receipt books used at elections shall contain notations indicating the electors who are not required to present identification under this subsection.
SECTION 2. Any person who willfully and deliberately utilizes any tactic, commits any act, engages in any conduct or conspires with another to interfere with the free, unimpeded and unfettered exercise of a person's constitutional right to vote shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punished by a fine not to exceed Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000.00), or imprisoned for not more than one (1) year, or both.
SECTION 3. The Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall submit this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United States or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from
and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting
Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.