Fate of Mississippi Voter ID law uncertain
By: Stephan Burklin
JACKSON, Mississippi: In the wake of a federal appellate court’s decision to strike down a Texas voter identification law, state elections officials in Jackson are studying the potential implications for a similar law in Mississippi.
In Thursday's ruling, a three-judge panel from the D.C. District Court said the Texas law placed "strict unforgiving burdens on the poor," specifically racial minorities.
According to the DJournal.com, a spokesperson for Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said that her office, which has been busy monitoring Hurricane Isaac, would revisit the Mississippi law in light of the court’s decision.
Hoseman has, according to the DJournal.com, previously pointed out key differences between the Texas and Mississippi laws in earlier interviews. Mississippi residents may, in contrast to their Texan neighbors, use photo ID’s from public universities to verify their identities. And Mississippi plans to install cameras in courthouses to make ID’s more accessible. The Legislature, however, has not appropriated the necessary funding for the project.
Tighter voter ID laws have been passed in several, generally Republican-dominated, legislatures in recent months. Democrats argue that the measures are cynically crafted to suppress turnout among students, minorities, and the poor – groups that lean Democratic. For their part, Republicans maintain that the measures are required to prevent voter fraud.
Under federal law, all changes to Mississippi election law must be approved by either the Justice Department or the District of Columbia federal court.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has said the Justice Department has indicated it will have some type of response on the Mississippi voter ID law in early October.
- [ http://djournal.com/view/full_story/19986734/article-Texas-voter--ID-ruling-s--impact-on-Miss--unclear?instance=home_news_right ‘’DJournal.com “Texas voter ID rulings impact on Mississippi unclear” August 31, 2012]