The issue has been debated at the Mississippi Legislature for 15 years. Republican Sen. Joey Fillingane of Sumrall with backing of the Mississippi GOP launched a petition drive that got the initiative on the ballot.
The amendment seeks to require every person voting in Mississippi to show a driver's license or other government-issued photo ID at the polls.
While supporters called it commonsense legislation, opponents said it could be viewed by black citizens as an attempt to diminish minority voting.
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 30 states require all voters to show ID at the polls — many of them in the Deep South. Fourteen of the 30 require photo ID.
The issue is far from settled.
Mississippi law says that if any initiative passes, it would take effect 30 days later.
The process could take longer for voter ID because of Mississippi's history of racial discrimination, and there's no guarantee it would ever be implemented.
The U.S. Justice Department must approve any changes to the state's election laws to ensure changes don't dilute minority voting strength.
State officials say they can't predict whether the Justice Department would approve a voter ID requirement in Mississippi.