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No ID required to vote in Lafayette County

Get Out the Vote organization emphasizes voter education

By Allison Brooks, Chandler LeDoyen and Jared Senseman

After Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant sparked controversy by urging voters to show ID when they vote on Tuesday, Democrats in Lafayette County have been trying to get the word out that there is no law requiring an ID to vote in Mississippi.
Mississippi's voter ID law is still pending approval from the U.S. Justice Department.

Democratic Party members say they are broadcasting through every media outlet available to reassure local voters.

Nell Green, election commissioner for Lafayette County District 4, said that only a small group of people must show identification at the polls.

"There are people who did not come personally to register at the circuit clerk's office and there is a ‘Y’ by their name in the poll book, and those people will need ID because they did not come and register in person," said Green.

However, Green said that regulation has always been in effect.

The Lafayette County Democrats are also working to "get out the vote." They are calling likely Democratic voters and reminding them of the election.  They will also be calling voters who have not shown up to the polls by 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Through an email interview, GOTV (Get Out the Vote) chairperson for the Democratic Party's Lafayette County Executive Committee Merrill Nordstrom said the party has changed its strategy since 2008; now they’re emphasizing voter education.

"We are very hopeful that Lafayette County will have a strong showing of support for President Obama, Brad Morris and all the other Democratic candidates on the ballot. In 2008, President Obama did not carry Lafayette County but he did very well.  We hope to push him over the edge this year,” Nordstrom wrote.

The Democrats are also offering rides to anyone who needs it, and have organized transportation on campus and off campus to polling places.

Lafayette County Republicans have been focused on getting signs, stickers and T-shirts into the hands of supporters.  They also sponsored a political rally Monday to motivate potential voters, and have been making phone calls to push people to the polls Tuesday.