DOJ Wants More Information on Voter ID Law

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood says the U.S. Department of Justice has responded to the Mississippi’s request for pre-clearance of the voter ID law.

Hood said Tuesday that the federal government wants more information to be able to determine that the proposed changes "neither have a discriminatory purpose nor will have a discriminatory effect."

The list of requests includes a copy of data that supports the state’s determination that voter ID "will not have a retrogressive effect on minority citizens in the effective exercise of their electoral franchise".

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said the issue of voter ID was decided by voters in November 2011 through a "free and fair election".

"We believe the process of implementation authorized by the Mississippi Legislature and the rules and regulations will show no discrimination against any citizen of Mississippi,” Hosemann said.

DOJ also wants to review a detailed description of any measures the state intends to put in place to "ameliorate this prohibited effect", which would include the rules and regulations being created by the Secretary of State.

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

Hood said some of the requested information is already compiled and can be easily provided. Once the state provides the requested information, the DOJ will have 60 days to respond.

Hood said any election officials or court clerks with questions about voter ID and the upcoming election may contact the Attorney General’s Office at 601-359-3680.