All over the US, especially in big cities but it happens in small towns too, people apparently rise up out of certain graveyards to vote every four years. This has has probably always happened, but this is 2010 and we don't have to allow vote fraud to continue into the 21st century.
If you are allowed to vote, then your vote should be counted. If your vote is not counted, then it's just as if you were stopped from voting. If a person gets to vote twice, that is the same exact thing as taking away someone else's vote. If a person votes a dozen times at a dozen precincts, a dozen people have their votes stolen from them. One of them could have been you! There is nothing funny or innocent about vote fraud. No matter how rare it is, each time it happens it takes away a person's Constitutionally granted power to vote. And each time it happens, the frustration over vote fraud convinces another person that voting is useless. If too many Americans come to believe their votes don't count because of fraud, then the possibility of revolution by other means becomes very real. Those are the stakes. Those are the reasons why preventing vote fraud is important.
There is a non-partisan Voter ID Petition going on in Mississippi. Currently Mississippi state law prohibits poll workers from asking for or checking a photo ID to make sure that every voter is who she says she is. Coupled with the inability of cities and towns to clear the voter rolls of people who die, this leaves a wide-open field for fraudulent voting. The only way fraudulent voters get caught is if they come back to the same precinct to vote under a second name and one of the poll workers or watchers remembers them and calls them on it. The current petition is to put a question on the 2010 general election ballot that lets the people of Mississippi decide if they want to require Voter ID to prevent vote fraud.
We are very close to our statewide goal of 130 thousand signatures. We will be out in force on the home stretch trying to cross that finish line before January 31, 2010.
Pick up a petition and take it to your job, your school, or your church. Get your friends and neighbors and your kids' friends' parents to sign. Pick-up and drop-off locations for petitions can be found below. So can some good advice on how to answer questions you might get about the petition.
Jackson County Pick-up/Drop-off Locations:
- Ocean Springs: Miner's Toy Store, Washington Avenue
- Gautier: Coldwell-Banker Realty, Hwy 90
- Gautier: Sleep King, Hwy 90
- Gautier: David Thompson (at bank between McDonald's & Wendys on Highway 90 – ask for David)
- Pascagoula: Anderson's Bakery, Market Street
- Pascagoula: Sleep King, Denny Avenue
- Vancleave: Coles Service Center, Poticaw Bayou Road
- Wade/Hurley/Big Point area: Farm Bureau Insurance, 16913 Highway 63 (10 miles north of I-10, 1 mile north of the power plant, 4 miles south of Wade-Vancleave Rd.)
Harrison County Pick-up/Drop-off Locations:
- Sweet Pepper's Deli on the west side of Hwy. 49 in Saucier. Ask for David or Joyce.
- Comvest Properties on Beauvoir Rd. in Biloxi. Across from Autozone.
- Vintage Station on Courthouse Rd. in Gulfport. After 5pm. Just north of the railroad.
- Bernie's restaurant in Biloxi.
- Hallmark Mortgage on Cowan Rd. in Gulfport. Just north of Hwy. 90.
- Palazzo CPA's. 1/2 mile north of I-10 at exit 41/Woolmarket.
- Any Sleep King location. Denny Ave. in Pascagoula. Eisenhower Dr. in Biloxi. Hwy. 49 in Gulfport next to Best Buy. Dedeaux Rd. in Gulfport, 1 mile east of Hwy. 49. Hwy. 90 in Gautier. Pass Rd. in Gulfport, next to Center Point Energy. Sangani Blvd. in D'Iberville next to Lowe's.
- Official petition forms are 2-sided legal size. Sheet must have printing on back to be valid. Use official forms.
- Print name and address as listed on voter rolls (Clerk compares name and address to voter rolls to certify each signature).
- Yes, petition signers need to be registered to vote in Mississippi for their signatures to count.
- No P.O. Boxes.
- Black or blue ink is OK.
- Don't worry about precinct or congressional district (not necessary)
- Keep different counties on separate sheets.
- Sign at the bottom of the sheet as the circulator.
- Deliver completed sheets to drop-off points AS THEY ARE COMPLETED (we want to avoid a bottleneck at the Clerks's office). Our deadline for turning in sheets to the drop-off points is January 31st.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Some people will object to signing a political petition, saying they don't want news to get back to their boss, or to face political retaliation. Answer: We are going to have at least 130,000 signatures on this petition. Nobody is going to go through all these thousands of sheets of paper to check to see if your name is on it.
- Careful signers may point out there is an exception for people who have religious objections to having their photograph taken and object to this. Answer: I totally understand where you're coming from, and if I had my druthers I'd prefer that too. However, the lawyers tell us that if we didn't have this exception in the legal language, the first legal challenge based on a religious objection would overturn the law.