Skip to comments.Advocates: Voter ID ruling may disenfranchise US voters
Posted on 04/28/2008 3:55:37 PM PDT by SmithL
The Supreme Court's refusal to strike down an Indiana law requiring government-issued photo identification at the ballot box could disenfranchise minority and elderly voters at next week's primary and prompt other states to pass similar laws, voting advocates said Monday.
The court, in a splintered 6-3 ruling Monday, said Indiana's law, which took effect in 2006 and requires voters to present a state or federal photo ID card at the ballot box, does not violate the First or 14th amendments. The court said the law served as a justifiable protection to the electoral process.
"It's especially worrisome that the court has sent a signal making it easier to put up barriers to people voting," said Michael Waldman, executive director of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University's law school. "There's a real risk that people will see this as a green light to pass restrictive voter ID laws in other states."
More than 20 states require some type of identification at the polls. But only Georgia and Indiana require government-issued photo IDs. In recent years, appellate courts have upheld bitterly fought identification laws in Arizona, Georgia and Michigan, but none is as stringent as the Indiana law.
Advocacy groups, including the Brennan Center, say they know of no voter fraud case ever being prosecuted against someone who impersonated another voter at the polls. Indiana's Republican Secretary of State Todd Rokita acknowledged there were no prosecutions in his state for impersonating voters, but said the measure was necessary to protect election integrity.
Indiana Solicitor General Tom Fisher, who argued the state's case before the high court, said Monday's ruling vindicates the law as a "common sense measure to protect the security and integrity of elections.
Of the remaining state primaries, Indiana's vote on May 6 has the most possibility for voter confusion over ID rules, voting advocates say. The remaining states, including Nebraska, Kentucky and Idaho, have much more lax identification requirements.
Those states that worry election advocates because of ongoing efforts to pass strict photo ID laws include Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. But it appeared unlikely Monday that legislators in those states would be able to push any such measures through before November's general election.
In Missouri, where the state supreme court overruled a previous photo-ID law, Republican Rep. Stanley Cox earlier this year proposed a constitutional amendment requiring such identification. He'd been waiting on the Supreme Courts decision before aggressively lobbying for it, but with Missouri's legislative session due to end May 16, Cox said Monday that the high court's ruling came too late.
"As a practical matter, the voters probably won't have this choice until 2010," Cox said.
Across the country, as many as 20 million people lack such identification, most of them minorities and the elderly who don't have drivers' licenses or passports and are unable to afford the cost of obtaining documentation to apply for such identification, advocacy groups say.
In Indiana, more than 20 percent of black voters do not have access to a valid photo ID, according to an October 2007 study by the University of Washington.
In tiny Marion County, 34 Indiana voters without the proper identification were forced to file provisional ballots in an offseason local election. According to Indiana's photo law, voters have 10 days to return to the county courthouse with the proper identification. They can also file an affidavit claiming poverty.
"Who's going to do that?" asked Bob Brandon, president of Fair Elections Legal Network, a nonpartisan network of election lawyers. "Who's going to show up and sign an affidavit saying 'I'm poor'?"
There used to be a stigma to using food stamps and the like. Not anymore. Too many generations who's job is to "go to the mailbox"
There is NO WAY Id could disenfranchise a voter! How stupid is this?
Does this meab I have to show some photo ID when robbing a bank? SHEESH How unfair!!@
I don't care. They need to identify themselves. If they are too stupid to figure out how to get them or self righteous that they don't believe them then they don't vote. TDB. No more voting fraud RATS. Your days are numbered.
Voter id for sure will deny some voters here in Calif their right to vote: for one, the millions of illegals who can’t be bothered to bring a copy of a utility bill or similar document showing they are US citizens (which is the extent of the Dem Party-controlled Calif govt’s anti-voting fraud efforts).
Dead people (described as “some elderly” in the Media), cats and dogs will suffer too.
Right on. If blacks are 12% of the population, and 20% don’t have voter ID. then a little over 2% of the total population doesn’t have voter ID.
Which means that almost 98% would. So what’s the problem?
Only half the people vote anyway(except for Philadelphia, where the voting rate is 110%(!)). So we are talking about 1% of the population at risk.
In a post 9/11 age, everyone needs a photo ID to do anything anyway. Some people are just going to have to get off their butts to be a useful citizen and get a voter ID to preserve the veracity of the vote.
I think that would be wise. He’s against universal health care, too. Also, obviously, he supports the military and the mission.
“Across the country, as many as 20 million people lack such identification, most of them minorities and the elderly who don’t have drivers’ licenses or passports and are unable to afford the cost of obtaining documentation to apply for such identification, advocacy groups say.
Then how on earth can they go down and vote in the first place???????????”
Here in Calif, a Calif Resident Picture Id card is openly available for very little.
There are 3rd World countries with better anti-voter fraud measures than here in the USA. The Dem Party values the One Party Press and massive voter fraud. Their “count every vote” (to include illegals, felons, dead and pets but not military serving overseas) is important to them.
Worded another way: The Supreme Court's
refusal to strike down upholding an Indiana law...
The Constitution says:
Article I Section 4 Clause 1
The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.
Article II Section 1 Clause 2
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors...
It's clear that the Constitution gave the States the power to choose how to run their elections, and if the States want Voter ID's, that's their Constitutional right to require it.
Does this mean dead people will have a harder time voting?
What a putz.
"It's especially pleasing that the court has sent a signal making it more difficult for Democrats to steal elections by allowing non citizens to vote," said MichaelSF and about a million honest voters,
Yeah! The illegals and criminals will be disenfranchised! The horror!
You have to show ID to buy cigs in WA state. Does this law disenfranchise tobacco buyers?Or is there an inalienable right to buy smokes?
Not in Memphis, for as long as the Fords own a funeral parlor and there are still Fords not in Jail
The court has been ruling the straight conservative or constitutionalist line this year; I hope this is reflected in the Second Amendment case.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.