JACKSON, Miss (AP) - The Mississippi Senate took another step toward voter identification in the Magnolia State Tuesday.
It passed House Bill 921 which provides the framework to set up a constitutional amendment approved overwhelmingly by voters last November.
The senate action is the latest in a series of moves necessary to implement what the voters approved. It must go back to the House for more work. It's not what is happening in the legislature that is important, however, it is what the U.S. justice department will eventually think about the bill that is vital to it actually becoming law. Mississippi has passed a bill that tracks the Indiana law, which the U.S. Supreme Court has found constitutional.
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann has been to Washington talking to the justice department about the state's law.
Hosemann said, "I talked to them in December. I explained to them that we had had the constitutional amendment and that we wanted to comply with section five of the voting rights act. And I asked them for information for that compliance, and subsequently I received South Carolina's application, Texas' application and went through that, so we have been in discussion with them about how we can be sure we are complying with section five."
Hosemann is confident Mississippi has a good chance of getting the new law approved.
"The voters voted overwhelmingly for a constitutional voter I.D. And we need to go on with the implementation. And we don't need to go into past history, we need to make history and making history is a good way to constitutionally implement voter I.D. and that's what we are gonna be about," said Hosemann.
Whatever is done in either house of the legislature and the voters have approved Mississippi must still get it's law approved under section five of the 1965 voting rights law.
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