Mississippi voters just approved a new law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls. But that law will not go into effect immediately, thanks to the Voting Rights Act. Instead Mississippi will get in line behind Texas and South Carolina as the Department of Justice examines each state’s voter ID laws, in a process known as “preclearance.”
The Justice Department will allow each law to go into effect only if the state can show its law will not have a racially discriminatory purpose or effect. Such proof may be hard to come by: a recent study by The Associated Press found that African-American voters in South Carolina would be much harder hit by that state’s ID law than white voters because they often don’t have the right kind of identification.
But this important preclearance procedure may not be around much longer. Before the next election season rolls around, the Supreme Court could well strike down this provision of the law as an unconstitutional infringement on states’ rights, leaving minority voters essentially unprotected from efforts to diminish their voting power. Congress needs to act before then to protect voting rights everywhere.
Full Article: Disenfranchise No More – NYTimes.com.