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Voter ID not the law now

Once and for all, voters in Tuesday’s election will NOT have to show identification.

     Confusion – added to by proponents on both sides of the controversial issue – has surrounded the 2012 election since Mississippi voters last year approved a voter ID measure and state lawmakers submitted their proposal to the U.S. Department of Justice for preclearance. Preclearance of Mississippi’s voter ID law is needed because of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

     However, preclearance from federal overseers has not come. And that means – for this election at least – voter ID will not be a requirement to vote Tuesday.

     Voter ID continues to be a quarrelsome issue, with supporters saying it would curb election fraud and opponents likening it to a modern-day poll tax that would discourage voting by minorities, the elderly and the poor.

     Voter ID supporters can certainly take issue with an apparent double standard among President Obama and his Department of Justice administration.

     The president himself had to show his identification when he voted early in Illinois recently. If it’s good enough for the president, why isn’t it good enough for everyone else, regardless of social or economic standing?

     Voter ID opponents this past week lashed out at Gov. Phil Bryant for suggesting it would be a good idea for people to voluntarily show their identification when voting Tuesday. Perhaps it would be, but that is not the current law in this Mississippi land and the governor’s overzealous comments only added unnecessary confusion.

     Despite what should be a simple process, election troubles always seem to surface in one form or another. Despite a pending law and what supporters may wish, showing voter ID will not be a part of the electoral process on Tuesday.