Mississippi has joined the growing number of states adopting tougher voter ID laws, a trend that promises to fuel an intense battle over how such laws may affect voter turnout in the 2012 elections.
“It’s boiling over,” said Jennie Bowser, a senior election policy analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “People on both sides of the aisle are very protective of elections. They regard it as the cornerstone of American democracy. ” Nearly 200 mostly Democratic lawmakers, including Rep. Bennie Thompson of Bolton, recently wrote state election officials urging them to not to let the new laws jeopardize voters’ rights.
Democrats and civil rights groups warn that millions of voters, mostly minorities, may be turned away at the polls next year if they don’t have the required ID. “Voting rights are under attack in America,” said Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. The new laws are “slowly robbing Americans of a basic constitutional right,” he said.
Supporters of the laws, mostly Republicans, say they help prevent fraudulent practices such as casting ballots under the names of dead people.
Full Article: Debate heats up over voter ID laws – USATODAY.com.