Voter ID bill takes 1st step in Miss. Legislature

Published 11:18 am Wednesday, January 14, 2009

JACKSON (AP) — A voter identification bill is starting to make its way through the Mississippi Legislature.

The Senate Elections Committee passed a bill Wednesday saying each voter would have to show ID at the polls. Among the documents allowed are a driver’s license, a passport, a state government employment ID or a military identification card.

Supporters of the plan, including Republican Gov. Haley Barbour, say it would help reduce the chance of election fraud. Opponents say an ID requirement could be used to intimidate older black voters who were once subject to Jim Crow laws.

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The bill moves to the full Senate for debate. Efforts to get voter ID in Mississippi have failed for the past decade.