Senate Amends Voter ID Bill

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The Mississippi Senate has amended a voter identification bill passed in the House to delete language that would have exempted the elderly from showing proof of their identity at the polls.

The House version would have exempted people born before Jan. 1, 1940.

The exception was put in to address concerns that requiring ID could be used to intimidate older black voters who once had to pay poll taxes. The vote was 38 to 12.

The bill now goes back to the House, which can adopt it, send it to conference or let it die.

The amended Senate version also lengthened the time before nonviolent, first-time offenders could regain suffrage and eliminated a provision that would allow poll workers to sign affidavits attesting to a voter's identity.