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Mississippi Senator Approves Voter ID Bill

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 10 Apr 2012 04:57pm | comments
Senator David Jordan.

Mississippi law makers are getting closer to approving the rules that would have all Mississippians showing a photo ID before voting. Voters approved the requirement last November. A voter ID bill passed the state senate yesterday but only after more than an hour of Fiery debate as MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports.

The debate over requiring voters to show photo ID started with Senator David Jordan of Greenwood comparing the requirement to oppressive Jim Crow Laws from Mississippi's past.

"We are brothers. It doesn't matter skin color. We are Mississippians. Why put something in there that would hurt a segment of African-Americans and other minorities and poor whites as well? Why put these barriers? Why Do this?" Jordan said.

Jordan raised religious objections to the photo requirements...Senator Gary Jackson of French Camp, who is a Baptist preacher, asked Jordan if he was questioning the Christianity of lawmakers who support the rules.

"You said 'I do not know how anyone can be a Christian and vote for this legislation'! I am using, as my wife would say in a restaurant sometimes, she would say 'you are using your preacher voice'. Well I am using my preacher voice because I am passionate about this. This is not a question of Christianity, this is a question of law," Jackson said.

Derrick Simmons of Greenville was among the law makers who claimed the would reduce minority voter involvement.

"This law goes to the heart of affecting our right to participate in the responsibilities and the benefits of this great nation," Simmon said.

Elections Committee Chairman Chris McDaniel of Ellisville defended the bill as an effort to preserve the integrity of the vote.

"This is not 1965. To believe that this bill is some sort of mischief to drive back time does a disservice we have all worked so hard to achieve. This is not Jim Crow. This is not racism," McDaniel said.

The bill passed and is being held on a procedural vote....It will be sent back to the House for more consideration.

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Senator David Jordan.


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