Mississippi GOP Joins Appeal of Election Law Changes

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The Mississippi Republican Party has appealed a federal judge's ruling that Mississippi adopt a party registration system for the 2009 elections and require potential voters to show a photo identification at the polls until the case clears all appeals.

The GOP filed the notice of appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Monday in federal court in Greenville.

The Democratic Party, the Mississippi NAACP and Attorney General Jim Hood have also appealed the June ruling from U.S. District Judge W. Allen Pepper.

The Republican Party has contended all along that the Democrats filed the lawsuit to keep non-Democrats out of its elections and GOP shouldn't be involved in it. However, Pepper has said his decision affects all party primaries in Mississippi.

Pepper has ruled Mississippi should re-register all voters to allow people to declare themselves as Democrats, Republicans or members of another party. Or, Pepper said, people could register as unaffiliated with any party.

Under current law, Mississippians do not declare a party affiliation when they register to vote.

Pepper also ruled that the Mississippi Legislature should enact a voter identification law. Democrats did not seek or desire photo ID. Pepper wants everything in place for the 2009 elections.

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