Mississippi rolls out mobile ID for statewide elections

Mississippi voters will be able to use their smartphones as voter identification in the November election, marking the first real test of a new statewide program that integrates technology into the voting process.

The program was launched last year in the form of an Apple and Android app. It stores a resident’s driver’s license in digital form and allows someone to use their phone in places they would typically show a license, such as voting locations.

Keith Davis, deputy commissioner for the Department of Public Safety, told WLBT-TV that around 100,000 people have downloaded the app, and more than 51,000 residents signed up for the digital driver’s license.

Industry experts have estimated that the coronavirus pandemic sped up the widespread adoption of contactless identification methods by at least a decade.

Mississippi is one of 10 states with a “fully engaged” mobile identification program, Davis said. Idemia, a multinational technology company headquartered in France, was contracted by DPS to build the app. The company has launched similar apps in several other states.

Davis said DPS is also working to build a system that would allow people in Mississippi to use their phone instead of their license to check in with the Transportation Security Administration before boarding a flight.

“We are working with Idemia as well as the other states that are rolling out mobile ID, working with TSA to get that put into place,” Davis told the news station.

Republished with permission from The Associated Press.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. In early 2022, she left the business to serve as Communications Director for St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch. After leaving the administration, Janelle briefly worked as a communications consultant for candidates, businesses and non-profits, before accepting her position as Publisher for Southeast Politics, a homecoming of sorts to her Florida Politics roots, where she served as a reporter and editor for several years. Janelle has also held roles covering the intersection of politics and business for the Tampa Bay Business Journal and general assignment news with an emphasis on social justice and climate change for WMNF Community Radio, where she also hosted a political call-in show under several names, including Last Call, Midpoint and The Scoop. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]

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