Mississippi Moves Ahead With Voter ID Law

by Will Allen

Following Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling striking down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, Mississippi secretary of state Delbert Hosemann announced that he will begin implementing the state’s voter-identification law, which had been awaiting federal preclearance. Hosemann released the following statement on the day of the ruling, as reported by the Gulf Coast News:

The United States Supreme Court placed Mississippi on equal footing with every other State.  The Court’s decision removes requirements for Mississippi to travel through the expensive and time consuming Federal application process for any change to state, county, or municipal voting law.  Mississippi citizens have earned the right to determine our voting processes.  Our relationships and trust in each other have matured.  This chapter is closed.  The process for implementation of Constitutional Voter Identification begins today.  It will be conducted in accordance with the Constitutional Amendment adopted by the electorate, funded by the Legislature, and regulations as proposed by the Secretary of State.

Under the law, Mississippians will have to show one of several acceptable forms of ID at the polls in order to vote; if a resident does not possess an eligible ID, the state promises to provide one at no charge.  Hosemann predicted that the law will take effect by the middle of next year.

Meanwhile, CNN reports that Texas attorney general Greg Abbott has promised that his state’s voter-ID law, which was also pending federal review, “will take effect immediately.” Likewise, the Gadsden Times reports that Alabama attorney general Luther Strange said, “The Supreme Court’s ruling frees Alabama and other states from cumbersome and unreasonable federal oversight, meaning that the Voter ID law may be implemented and will not be submitted for preclearance.”

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