Mississippi gov to sign voter ID bill Thursday

By The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant plans a ceremony Thursday to sign a voter ID bill.

The measure will become law only if it is approved by the U.S. Justice Department. Because of Mississippi’s history of racial discrimination, federal approval is required for any change in election laws or procedures.

House Bill 921 would require each voter to show a driver’s license, passport or other photo identification.

Supporters say it would help protect the integrity of elections.

Opponents say there has been scant evidence of people masquerading as others to vote. They also say the identification requirement could suppress turnout among voters who are poor, elderly or black.

The Justice Department has rejected voter ID laws from Texas and South Carolina in recent months.