Voter ID

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Indiana’s voter ID law today. The Indiana law requires the use of a government issued photo id at polls. The Court admitted that the law would deter some people from voting because of a present lack of a photo ID. From the opinion:

The Indiana law is not like a poll tax, where on one side is the right to vote and on the other side the state’s interest in defraying the cost of elections or in limiting the franchise to people who really care about voting or in excluding poor people or in discouraging people who are black. The purpose of the Indiana law is to reduce voting fraud, and voting fraud impairs the right of legitimate voters to vote by diluting their votes — dilution being recognized to be an impairment of the right to vote.

Judge Evans, dissenting, wrote:

Let’s not beat around the bush: The Indiana voter photo ID law is a not-too-thinly-veiled attempt to discourage election-day turnout by certain folks believed to skew Democratic. We should subject this law to strict scrutiny—or at least, in the wake of Burdick v. Takushi, 504 U.S. 428 (1992), something akin to “strict scrutiny light”—and strike it down as an undue burden on the fundamental right to vote.

The case is William Crawford v. Marion County Elec. Bd, ___ WL ____ (7th Cir., 2007).


  1. Rick Day says:

    Why are Republicans SO FOR this type of law?

    If stagnant answer of ‘eliminate voter fraud’ is weakly offered, please cite the thousands of cases where said fraud was perpetuated on the citizenry and how elections were rigged based on ID fraud.

    However, if one offers it is to dilute the elderly and the Angry Negro vote, well I’ll accept that as a typical Republican. At least it would be honest, therefore fresh.

  2. StevePerkins says:

    I’ve been voting in Georgia since I was 18, and I’ve been asked to show ID in every single election. I’m assuming that I have the right to refuse, but I just go ahead and show it.

    I’m curious as to what the percentage is of voters who DO refuse to show ID currently. Are we really talking about thousands and thousands of potentially fraudulent votes? Are we just talking about a dozen or so grandmothers being disenfranchised? I have a hard time strongly backing EITHER side in this debate because I’m not really clear on what the debate’s about… what’s the size of the issue here? Do we even track these numbers, or is the entire thing speculation on both sides? I’d be very interested in anyone being able offer more specifics along those lines.

  3. Bill Simon says:

    Chris sez: I’m biased in favor of the status quo if no hard evidence has been presented.

    Nothing personal, Chris, but that just might be the most assinine statement I’ve ever read.

  4. jkga says:

    Steve Perkins-

    My understanding is that a birth certificate and evidence of residency (e.g. a utility bill) have been acceptable forms of ID; the current bill requires a driver’s license, passport, or equivalent government-issue *photo* id, which is something that lower-income and urban folks, who are more likely to vote Democratic, are less likely to have.

  5. jkga says:

    To me, the most outrageous and indefensible part of the Georgia voter ID bill is that it makes voter fraud through absentee balloting much easier.

    When every vote requires an actual person to show up at a polling place, it’s hard to see how widespread fraud could work without being detected – it would take a lot of fake id’s (even birth certificates) and a lot of person-hours on election day; it would probably be more efficient to put these efforts towards legitimate GOTV activities.

    On the other hand, if I make it known that I’ll pay some amount of money for signed absentee ballots, and then I can fill in the candidates I want and mail them in, then I could get a lot more votes with a lot less effort and have everything done well in advance of election day, with almost no risk of detection.

    So my conclusion is that Georgia Republicans are being disingenuous in promoting this bill as an anti-fraud measure. This is really indefensible, and shows a disgustingly cynical attitude towards voting rights.

  6. richardr says:

    I am all in favor of the Voter ID law. My question is just how many people who oppose using the argument that it puts an undue burden on the “insert whoever” actually personally know and can vouch for someone who would need the state ID.

    I do know some one he is legally blind, senior citizen, and would qualify as below the poverty line. He was able to get the ID when it was first offered. All it took was asking some one to take him to the election office. Now I know that is complicated and really hard to do since those who have this burden and can’t drive stay at home and have their food brought in to them and their Dr.s make house calls.

  7. RuralDem says:

    I don’t believe in the race arguement as to why I disagree with it. I do think it will put more of a burden on rural citizens, however, that probably would not be that big of a hassle. My main point for objecting the Voter ID law is the opening of the “flood gates” for fraud via absentee ballots. I think it’s hilarious how so many Republicans are now for a photo id so prevent dead people from voting, however, when they were Democrats years ago they had no problem.

    I don’t see the point in patching one hole yet opening another.

    “All it took was asking some one to take him to the election office. Now I know that is complicated and really hard to do since those who have this burden and can’t drive stay at home and have their food brought in to them and their Dr.s make house calls.”

    You do realize that in many smaller rural areas there are citizens who do have a really difficult time getting somewhere. I know quite a few people who live way out in the country and pay friends to get their food, or pay friends to take them to the doctor. Sure, they can pay them to take them to get a state issued ID, but you make it seem like it’s nothing for them to have to do that.

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