After emotional debate and testimony that lasted all night, a bill requiring voters to present identification papers before casting ballots passed its first hurdle in the Senate.
Acting as a "committee of the whole," the Senate approved the so-called "Voter ID" bill 20-12. It now will need another vote by the full Senate, but Wednesday's vote all but assures its passage.
The bill is being driven by Republicans over fierce opposition from Democrats. Debate and testimony started Tuesday and ended Wednesday morning.
Supporters said the bill protects against voter fraud. Opponents contend it will disenfranchise thousands of voters by erecting paperwork hurdles that will affect minorities, the poor, the disabled and the elderly.