Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Whoosiers?


The Supreme Court ruled yesterday in favor of an Indiana law that would require voters to present a picture ID if challenged to prove their identity at a polling place.

This places a slight burden on would-be voters, and may be sufficiently burdensome that it will prevent some people from casting their ballots (more likely Democratic voters than Republicans). This has some liberals up in arms, but not me.

In principle, I agree with those who dissented in this case (Justices Ginsburg, Breyer and Souter). As Justice Souter observes, “The interest in combating voter fraud has too often served as a cover for unnecessarily restrictive electoral rules...” and “the onus of the Indiana law is illegitimate just because it correlates with no state interest so well as it does with the object of deterring poorer residents from exercising the franchise.”

Yes, it is a blatantly partisan Republican effort to suppress Democratic votes. What is distressing is that it might work - that there are enough Democratic voters who would be too lazy to get the necessary identification.

My humble opinion: being able to prove who you are when you show up to vote does not seem to me to be an unreasonable demand to place on a citizen in the 21st century. The right to vote carries with it certain responsibilities. You have to show up during the hours the polls are open. You have to provide suitable evidence that you are the person registered to vote. These are minimal requirements.

People, if you want to vote, get the ID. This isn't hard.

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posted at 9:04:00 AM by Neil

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