Democrats, Hood, NAACP appeal Miss. primaries ruling to 5th Circuit

The Mississippi Democratic Party, the Mississippi NAACP and Attorney General Jim Hood are appealing a federal judge's ruling that would affect the 2009 elections.

They are asking the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to hear the case.

In July, U.S. District Judge W. Allen Pepper said that Mississippi must adopt a party registration system for the 2009 elections and require potential voters to show a photo identification at the polls has been appealed.

Pepper said Mississippi must restructure its party primary system by August 31, 2008. Pepper had amended an order issued in June in a lawsuit filed by the Democratic Party, which sought to keep nonmembers from voting in the Democratic primaries. Some black Democrats have complained that whites sympathetic to Republicans have been voting in the Democratic primaries.

Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Dowdy said Monday that the party doesn't feel that voters should be required to have a passport or some other formal document to enter the voting booth.

Under current law, Mississippians do not declare a party affiliation when they register to vote.