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Secretary of State adds cost of initiatives to ballot

JACKSON — Key information involving three initiatives on the Nov. 8 ballot was not included so a reprint has been ordered, the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office said yesterday.

Pamela Weaver, spokeswoman for Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, said Attorney General Jim Hood contacted their office last week saying he believed the “fiscal analysis” — the cost to taxpayers for each of the ballot initiatives — should be included on the ballots, as required by the state Constitution.

“After reviewing applicable statutes over the weekend, the Secretary of State’s office agreed with the opinion of the Attorney General,” Weaver said in a statement yesterday.

Counties developed their ballots based on a sample ballot distributed by Hosemann’s office Sept. 14. Weaver said any absentee votes already cast and based on the initial ballots will count in the Nov. 8 election. She also said the Secretary of State’s Office will pay the counties’ extra printing expenses but didn’t know how many counties were involved or how much it would cost.

The ballot initiatives involve amendments requiring voters to show photo identification in order to vote, deciding whether to restrict government’s power to take private property for public projects and whether to declare that life begins when a human egg is fertilized.

Weaver said the Legislative Budget Office found there was no financial impact for the personhood and eminent domain initiatives, while there would be a $1.4-million financial impact for the voter identification initiative.

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