Miss. voter ID not in use for March 13 primaries

By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press

JACKSON — Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann says Mississippi voters won’t have to show identification to cast ballots in the March 13 presidential and congressional primaries.

That’s because the state has not yet sought federal approval for a voter ID state constitutional amendment that voters approved this past November.

The U.S. Justice Department must approve any changes to voting procedures in Mississippi because of the state’s history of racial discrimination.

Legislators are working on plans to implement voter identification, including ways to pay for photo ID for any person of voting age who doesn’t have a driver’s license. Until they’re finished, Hosemann can’t seek Justice Department approval.

He says Monday that he hopes Mississippi’s plan will receive federal approval by mid-September so it can be implemented for the federal election in November.