Today, the US Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which has required many states from the Deep South, including Mississippi, to get preclearance for changes to voting laws in those states. The majority opinion penned by Chief Justice John Roberts found Section 4 of the Act unconstitutional and therefore, issues ranging from Voter ID to redistricting lines will no longer have to be reviewed and precleared by the US Justice Department before being put into place. I learned of it today from my friend, Ben James, Jr., Chairman of the Capitol Prayer and Ministry Foundation, who had heard of the ruling and called to celebrate that all of our many efforts to bring fairness to the voting process in Mississippi have finally paid off. We have longed prayed for this result and now it is time to celebrate its implementation. There should be no further delay in implementing our Voter Identification provisions adopted by the vast majority of Mississippians as a result of the ballot initiative several years ago. The citizens of our state deserve no less than the cleanest, fairest voting system possible so that the results of those elections will be unquestioned and the principle of one-person-one-vote can be upheld. I applaud the US Supreme Court in finally recognizing that times have changed in the Deep South and in Mississippi. I’m proud to have been the author of the Voter ID initiative and proud that the Court has finally removed any remaining barriers to implementing the Voter ID requirements, including a free Voter ID card for any Mississippian who needs one. The people have spoken and now the Justices of the US Supreme have upheld our right to conduct our elections in a fair and honest way. I think it is a great day for Mississippi and the country.

State Senator Joey Fillingane
6/25/13