by Chris Davis
JACKSON, Miss.--As some had already predicted, the U.S. Dept. of Justice will likely not approve Mississippi's new Voter ID legislation. That message came this week from Sec. of State Delbert Hosemann as he addressed lawmakers during the joint legislative budget hearings.
The next step, according to Hosemann, is filing for court action in Washington, D.C. That's what Texas did and their legislation was struck down by a judicial panel.
Hoseman says one difference that might give Mississippi's law an advantage is that voter ID will be free in the Magnolia State.
We spoke with one of the bill's authors, Rep. Bill Denny, when the bill was signed earlier this year. Even then he had little faith the DOJ would give the law the go-ahead.
"The Department of Justice now, as it kind of always has been, is a political arm of whoever's in charge in the White House," he said.
Critics who oppose the bill say the restrictions would ultimately disenfranchise some minority voters by requiring them to obtain ID to vote.
Hosemann has pointed out that the bill offers free ID, free birth certificates and ID at drivers license offices throughout the state. He and other supporters say voter ID will cut down on voter fraud, keeping dead people from voting once and those who are still with us from voting more than once.