As part of a national trend towards states adopting voter ID laws, about 62 percent of Mississippi voters approved a referendum in 2011 that would require voters to show a photo ID before being allowed to vote. But the failure of similar laws in other states to be approved by the U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ) has led to questions about whether Mississippi’s new law will receive clearance from the DOJ and, if so, if it will be in time for the November presidential elections. Sec. of State Delbert Hosemann said careful planning has been done in drafting legislation to implement the state’s voter ID requirement to address the kinds of concerns that led to voter ID laws in others states such as Texas and South Carolina not being approved by the DOJ. Hosemann met with representatives of the DOJ to review the history of states where voter ID bills were approved. He said he told the DOJ the State of Mississippi wants to adopt a voter ID bill that meets all constitutional requirements at minimal cost to the taxpayers.
The Secretary of State (SOS) office has been reviewing the issues that caused voter ID bills in other states to be rejected by the DOJ. In March, the DOJ said Texas did not meet the requirements under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act to show the law would not have a discriminatory effect on minority voters. The DOJ said Hispanic voters are much more likely than registered non-Hispanic voters to not have a government issued photo ID card. “We are making sure we have the most aggressive actions possible to assure that every citizen who deserves an ID card has an ID card,” Hosemann said. “We want them to have one at no cost.”
Full Article: Voter ID.