An election worker writes a name on the voter roll at a polling place in a church February 9, 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Following the controversial Supreme Court decision to overturn Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, some state legislatures are welcoming the opportunity to enact changes to their voter identification laws.

Without the heart of the 1965 Act in place, nine states, mostly in the south, are free to change their voting policies without seeking federal approval. Five of those nine states have already begun to move forward with changes. Most would require potential voters to present a government issued photo ID at the polls.

Critics of the Supreme Court decision have stated that the enactment of these voter ID laws will disadvantage minority and poor voters by limiting the access these individuals would have to exercise their right to vote.

A few southern states are taking action to embrace that new-found freedom.

Southern states weighing changes

In Texas, shortly after the June 25 ruling came down, the state’s attorney general, Greg Abbot said: “with today’s decision, the State’s voter ID law will take effect immediately.”

Previously prohibited, the Texas law requires voters to carry specific forms of photo identification to the pols, and could give the state the ability to draw redistricting maps that federal authorities previously ruled were discriminatory against minority voters. The voter identification law was signed into law by Governor Rick Perry, according to the Huffington Post.

Even after a long season of conflict in North Carolina, GOP officials seem to be weighing these changes just as heavily.

MSNBC reports that the sponsor of a Republican-backed voter ID law said that in light of the Supreme Court decision, he will move forward with efforts to implement the changes.

Other states that had similar laws stalled in the past are predicted to renew their efforts to put them into effect before next year’s midterm elections. Those states include Alabama, Mississippi, and Virginia.

MSNBC: Why voter ID won’t save the GOP

In addition, states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin may be pursuing stricter voter identification laws, even though those states were not affected by the section of the Voting Right Act that was gutted.

While these changes could theoretically disenfranchise minorities and the poor, according to the Brennan Center and other researchers, other voting restrictions such as limits on early voting hours and registration could have an equally damaging effect.