Mississippi’s priorities misplacedPublished 12:00am Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Welcome to Mississippi, where greater reverence is placed on the purchase of cigarettes, beer and ammunition than on the sanctity of the voting booth.
Granted, it’s not much of a state motto, but maybe that moniker changes soon.
With the swing of the gavel, the gears of the 2009 Mississippi Legislature grind into action today.
Hopefully, through all the bickering and childish behavior that seems to come along this time of year in Jackson, one piece of meaningful legislation will be passed: a voter ID law.
Currently, residents must show ID to prove their age in order to buy a pack of smokes, a six-pack of beer or a box of rifle cartridges, when their age is questioned. But you can just walk up to a voting booth, say a name, sign the book and be ushered into the voting booth.
Voters in Southwest Mississippi know well what can happen when the voting process becomes corrupted.
Among the most ugly examples of this was Wilkinson County 2007 Democratic primary race in which allegations of voter fraud, ballot mishandling, lawsuits and countersuits culminated with a new election, nearly a year after the first one was spoiled,
A law requiring voters to show identification prior to voting is badly needed in Mississippi. As evident in Wilkinson County, the system is easily corruptible. Such a law will not stop all voter fraud, but it might help curb some monkey business.
If we don’t start tightening up our loose, good ole boy laws, we’ll all end up questioning the integrity of our election system even more than the law-abiding voters in Wilkinson County do.