Barring significant developments such as a court challenge, Mississippi’s voter ID law is set to take effect with the congressional primary elections next June.
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said last week in an interview with the Daily Journal that implementation efforts, including outreach to people who may not already have government-issued photo identification, are on schedule.
It’s been a long and contentious road. For more than two decades, voter ID bills languished in the Legislature. Petitioners got the issue on the ballot in 2011 and Mississippi voters decisively approved it as an amendment to the state constitution.
It’s been a racially charged issue, given Mississippi’s history of discrimination against black voters and claims by opponents that it was intended to suppress participation by minority and poor voters.