Senators argued more than an hour Thursday before voting 23 to 22 for a broad requirement that voters show ID every time they go to the polls.
A bill with the ID requirement still must go to the House, where Elections Chairman Tommy Reynolds has in the past fought attempts to make Mississippians show driver's licenses or other I. before voting.
Senate debate centered on Mississippi's history of racial intimidation versus requirements of living in a post-9/11 world where people have to show ID more frequently.
The ID mandate was put into a bill to make Mississippi comply with the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002.
The 23 to 22 vote was for the ID amendment. The bill itself passed 29 to 18.
The federal law was passed to help states replace outdated voting equipment. It had a limited voter ID requirement.