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State lawmakers approve voter identification bill

JACKSON — The Mississippi House has passed a bill that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

House Bill 921 furthers an amendment approved by 62 percent of voters in November.

Because of the state’s history of racial discrimination, any change to its voting procedures must be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice or a federal court in Washington, D.C. Proponents of the law have said it is needed before approval can be sought.

Rep. Bill Denny, a Jackson Republican, said the bill would make it possible for voters to use a broad range of photo identifications, from a passport to a Medicaid card.

The U.S. Department of Justice has already ruled against South Carolina and Texas voter identification laws, arguing that they would disproportionately harm minority voters.

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