By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press
JACKSON — Mississippi voters could have to start showing photo identification at the polls by mid-2014.
That’s according to Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. He spoke Tuesday after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that certain state and local governments no longer need federal approval to change election laws. Preclearance was required by the 1965 Voting Rights Act, in areas with histories of racial discrimination.
Justices said the law doesn’t reflect progress made in the United States over the past 48 years.
The ruling clears the way for Hosemann to start implementing a voter ID law that had been awaiting federal clearance.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, the only black member of Mississippi’s congressional delegation, says the ruling “guts the most critical portion of the most important civil rights legislation of our time.”