State Passes Federal Measure

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Supporters say an election bill that passed the House Monday will help Mississippi avoid being sued over the federal Help America Vote Act, but opponents said the bill killed the last chance this session to pass a voter identification requirement.

The measure passed 81 to 40 and goes to Gov. Haley Barbour.

The Help America Vote Act is a federal law designed to decrease election problems like Florida had in the 2000 presidential race.

Among other things, it makes millions of dollars available for states to replace outdated voting equipment. Mississippi could get $34 million for complying with the federal law.

Rep. Tommy Reynolds said the U.S. Justice Department could sue Mississippi if the state does not follow the law.