Governor Bryant signs Voter ID Bill

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - With the governor's signature, the state's voter identification law is ready to be put in place.

"We just simply believe it adds creditably," said Bryant.

Before anything can happen however, it must first be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice. That's where Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann wonders if the state will get a fair shot.

"I did have some concern that we have a problem not with the culture in Mississippi but with the culture of the Justice Department," said Hosemann.

That comes after one of the reviewing analysts at the department made some unflattering comments about Mississippi on her Facebook page, calling the state shameful and disgusting. The department claims that employee will not be reviewing Mississippi's application, but Governor Bryant says the comments are still concerning.

"I think the Department of Justice needs to review the integrity of that system," said Bryant.

Both Bryant and Hosemann say the voter ID package meets the requirements of the Voting Rights Act and should be approved. Bryant says there should even be consideration to allow Mississippi to come out from under the department's oversight.

"I truly believe those days are gone when someone in Mississippi would say we are going to try to use our laws to disenfranchise someone who's African American," said Bryant.

Mississippi voters approved voter ID by 62 percent back in November. That, coupled with favorable Supreme Court rulings and 34 other states with voter ID laws, Hosemann says, should be a clear indicator to the Department of Justice.

"I think they need to recognize what the will of the people is and what the court has said," said Hosemann.

With the legislation now signed, it will be sent to the Justice Department. How long it takes to be reviewed could take months. Meanwhile, Hosemann is still considering whether he wants to skip the Justice Department all together and go straight to the court system.

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