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In 2011, Mississippians approved by 62 percent a constitutional amendment requiring voter photo IDs. The legislature then passed an implementation law, which Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed on May 17, 2012. Before you could say “ID, please?” the Justice Department stopped enforcement before the November presidential election.

As with South Carolina and Texas, whose photo-ID laws were promptly suspended, Mr. Holder invoked Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which requires the Justice Department or a three-judge federal panel in the District of Columbia to approve any changes in election laws and redistricting in several Southern states plus dozens of other jurisdictions around the nation. In February, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments challenging Section 5 in Shelby County v. Holder, with a ruling expected in June.

This November, Mississippi has statewide municipal elections. It would be nice if the voter rolls were cleaned up by then. It would also be nice if the U.S. Justice Department quit dragging its feet and allowed the photo-ID law to take effect, although it’s doubtful whether it could be implemented in time.

The secretary of state must first conduct a voter-education campaign and devise ways to make photo IDs available at no charge, an election official told me Wednesday.

In the meantime, a positive judgment in the American Civil Rights Union’s court case could unleash a tsunami of legal action against uncooperative election officials around the nation.

Honest, up-to-date voter-registration rolls are the last thing that vote fraudsters want to see.

Robert Knight is senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a columnist for The Washington Times.