Caucus asks Dept. of Justice to challenge Voter ID law

A letter has been sent by the chairman of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus asking the U.S. Department of Justice to preclude the implementation of Mississippi’s voter ID law.

“The law adversely affects Mississippi’s most vulnerable population, namely, the elderly, minorities and disabled,” said state Sen. Kenny Wayne Jones, D-Canton. “Prior to the U.S. Supreme Court declaring Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional, Mississippi was covered by the “preclearance” requirement”

The Justice Department has yet to say whether it will challenge Mississippi’s Voter ID law, similar to challenges made in a couple other states.

Jones said in the letter made available today that it is his understanding that Mississippi initially provided insufficient evidence and/or information to the U.S. Department of Justice to determine whether the new law would violate the Voting Rights Act. Moreover, he said Mississippi has not provided support that the law would not hinder minority voting or that, if it does, how proposed changes in the law or administrative rules and regulations would remedy that.

“As you know, Section 3 of the Voting Rights Act allows the federal government to subject jurisdictions with recent records of deliberate discrimination to the preclearance requirement. With Mississippi’s long history of deliberate discrimination and considering that voter ID has not been fully implemented, the Members of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus ask for immediate intervention by the Department pursuant to Section 3 of the Voting Rights Act,” Jones said in the letter..

Clarion Ledger