Mississippi Voter ID Law Also Put On Hold

 
on October 02 2012 7:18 PM

 

Mississippi's new law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls will not be in effect for the November election while federal officials review whether it is discriminatory, the state said Tuesday.

It was the second setback for voter ID laws in a single day, coming hours after a judge in Pennsylvania ordered officials there to delay implementing a photo ID requirement until after the election.

Voters in Mississippi approved a voter ID ballot initiative by a wide margin last November.

But as part of the implementation, the state provided insufficient evidence for the U.S. Department of Justice to determine whether the law would violate the Voting Rights Act, the agency's voting section chief T. Christian Herren Jr. said in a letter on Monday, reported by Reuters.

The Justice Department requested several additional documents from Mississippi, including any data supporting its position that the law won't hinder minority voting or that, if it does, how proposed changes in the law or administrative rules and regulations would remedy that.

Federal officials also want Mississippi to provide a list of all registered voters by name, race, birth date, address, Social Security number and driver's license or ID number.

Some of the information is readily available, but some will take more time to obtain, the state Attorney General's Office said.

"All the DOJ is saying in this response is that they need more details of the state's plan in order to make a determination," Attorney General Jim Hood said in a statement.

"What this means is that the voter ID requirement will not be in place before the November election," Hood said. "You will not be required to show ID at the poll until DOJ interposes no objections or pre-clears Mississippi's voter ID bill."

Mississippi must submit voting rules to Washington for "pre-clearance" because of its history of disenfranchising blacks and poor whites.  

Share this article

More News from IBT MEDIA