With the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last week on Indiana’s strict voter identification law, it would seem states are now free to follow suit and enact rules requiring that voters show ID on election day.
The question, particularly in Mississippi, is whether we can move beyond voter ID opponents’ stale, tired arguments that somehow asking a person to show identification would be a deterrent to voting. Opponents also like to claim that poor or older voters would be less inclined to vote if they had to show identification.
Unfortunately, given voter ID bills’ track record of failure in years past, we remain skeptical that lawmakers will overcome the well-entrenched obstacles confronting an ID law. The state Senate approved a voter ID proposal put forth by Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, but the bill died in the House during the 2008 legislative session.