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Tilting at Windmills

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April 28, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

EQUAL PROTECTION....The Supreme Court today upheld Indiana's shiny new voter ID law, a law that plainly fails to address any actual problem. Or does it? From the lead opinion:

It remains true, however, that flagrant examples of such fraud in other parts of the country have been documented throughout this Nation's history by respected historians and journalists, that occasional examples have surfaced in recent years, and that Indiana's own experience with fraudulent voting in the 2003 Democratic primary for East Chicago Mayor — though perpetrated using absentee ballots and not in-person fraud — demonstrate that not only is the risk of voter fraud real but that it could affect the outcome of a close election.

And what are the examples of voter fraud that John Paul Stevens managed to adduce to support this paragraph? Marty Lederman tells us: (1) Boss Tweed stuffing ballot boxes in 1868, (2) a case in Washington state in which one person committed voter fraud, and (3) a 2003 case of fraud in Indiana which, as Stevens acknowledges, the new law wouldn't cover because it was done via absentee ballot.

Presumably these were the best examples that anyone could come up with. And what do you conclude from them? That's easy: in-person voter fraud is vanishingly rare while absentee voter fraud is, perhaps, a problem genuinely worth addressing. Needless to say, though, Indiana's law does exactly the opposite: it requires voter ID for in-person voting and does nothing to ensure the integrity of absentee voting.

We all know why this is: it's because, as Common Cause reminds us, restricting in-person voting tends to reduce turnout among minorities, the elderly, voters with disabilities, the poor, and the young — all of which, though CC is too polite to mention it, tend to vote Democratic. Absentee voters, by contrast, tend to vote Republican.

So what's the real motivation for Indiana's law? That's pretty obvious, isn't it? And pretty shameful.

Kevin Drum 1:51 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (48)

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Comments

So should we advise Indiana voters who don't have a current photo ID, and who don't have a certified birth certificate on hand, to apply for an absentee ballot?

Posted by: Joe Buck on April 28, 2008 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

We need to amend the Constitution to make voting a right.

It seems to be a bit less than that nowadays.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on April 28, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

This Supreme Court will be one of President Obama's greatest headaches. Presumably any Democratic party favored issue will be given strong scrutiny and the narrowest possible interpretation, while GOP initiatives like this voter ID law will sail through on the flimsiest of pretexts.

Posted by: jimBOB on April 28, 2008 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

On a different forum, when the theft of the 2000 presidential election was discussed, some conservative wretch always brought up the so-called "smokes for votes" incident which allegedly occurred in Milwaukee in 2000. However, that apparently involved some knuckle-head with one carton of cigarettes (i.e. 10 packs), who allegedly gave homeless men a pack of cigarettes if they voted Democratic. This conservative forum participant felt that lone incident (which had nothing to do with voter IDs) made up for the theft of thousands of votes for Al Gore in Florida by Katherine Harris through the use of the misleading "butterfly ballots", the throwing out of thousands of "overvotes" and the counting of late absentee military votes, some of which were mailed after election day.

This court decision is one example of right-wing fascist's disdain for the democratic process.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on April 28, 2008 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

All absentee ballots must be accompanied by a notarized copy of photo identification, signed by the voter, and accompanied by a thumbprint.

Simple to write a law like that, innit?

Posted by: jon on April 28, 2008 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

I still don't understand what makes the groups you identify--minorities, the elderly, the disabled, the poor, and the young--somehow less likely to have the requisite ID. Do these people not have IDs? Is there something about their status (economic/physical/ethnic) that makes them somehow less likely to have ID?

In a place like Indiana (I've never been, but am speculating nonetheless), I imagine you have to drive to get anywhere meaningful, including a polling place. Do people regularly drive without their licenses, which by the way, are sufficient under the law?

It's good and well to make an equal protection argument, but it seems that this is making a marginally bigger molehill out of a molehill.

Posted by: nvs on April 28, 2008 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Look hither. Rev. Wright claims that whites manufactured the AIDS virus to damage blacks.

Posted by: gregor on April 28, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

What the (Republican) Supremes really are thinking of is allegations that Dick Daley voted the Chicago cemeteries on behalf of Jack Kennedy. The threat of Democratic vote fraud obviously is something the American political system cannot tolerate.

Posted by: Potiphar Breen on April 28, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

There was the 1997 Miami mayoral election in which there was massive, documented absentee ballot fraud on behalf of the campaign of Republican Xavier Suarez. An appeals court threw out the absentee ballots and Suarez was removed from office.

Suarez was later involved in the efforts to shut down the Florida recount in 2000 (Brooks Brothers riots).

Posted by: Rosali on April 28, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Well. 69 comments so far on the Wright thread just below. 9 on this one. We're gonna deserve it.

Posted by: sniflheim on April 28, 2008 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Stevens joining the majority on this surprised me. The only reason I can figure is that Roberts sold him on jumping off the fence if, in turn, Stevens would be allowed to write a fairly narrow opinion.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on April 28, 2008 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

On a different forum, when the theft of the 2000 presidential election was discussed...

Actually, Al Gore was unable to steal the 2000 election. No need to worry about too much.

Stevens joining the majority on this surprised me. The only reason I can figure is that Roberts sold him on jumping off the fence if, in turn, Stevens would be allowed to write a fairly narrow opinion.

God knows he couldn't really believe what he wrote.

Posted by: Brian on April 28, 2008 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

In a place like Indiana (I've never been, but am speculating nonetheless), I imagine you have to drive to get anywhere meaningful, including a polling place.

Yes, because buses, taxis, and special transportation services for the disabled and elderly don't exist. And of course polling places are always in a single central location instead of being distributed among schools, houses, and fire stations close to where people live so most people can walk to them. So the only possible solution is that people are driving without licenses.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on April 28, 2008 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, nvs, the groups Kevin is talking about are less likely to have IDs, as discussed in the dissents in this case.

Basically, the main reason to have an id is to drive. So if you're poor and live in the middle of a city with no car, you're way less likely to have an id than a wealthy person in the suburbs. If your disability prevents you from driving, that also makes you unlikely to get a license, so people with disabilities are disproportionately likely not to have ID. And elderly people who had an ID but don't drive anymore often let their ID's expire. The Indiana law requires a CURRENT, unexpired ID, so those people are screwed.

And lastly, poor people have to move addresses somewhat more than average, which makes it more likely that, even if you're responsible and sent in your change-of-address card to the registrar of voters, when you show up at the new polling place, your new address isn't on your ID. In which case, no vote -- the addresses must match. This last one really trips up young people too, who also tend to vote guess which way... for Democrats.

No wonder this bill went through on an almost perfect party-line Republican vote.

Posted by: JR on April 28, 2008 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Voter ID is perfectly reasonable, and for Democrats to insist that having a photo ID is not needed is to basically disenfranchise their constituents from most of economic life, not just voting.

I think the opposite conclusion is drawn, Dems by insisting that voter ID is not needed just condemn their people to a life of misery.

Posted by: Matt on April 28, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Yawn. Every single leftie analysis of the ruling (TAP, Slate, WU, etc etc ad nauseam) just repeats the exact same fact: no direct evidence of voter fraud.

Which is already known to everyone, including the 6 supremes who voted to uphold the law. And which is totally irrelevant. How can you possibly have "proof" of voter fraud if noone ever checks for ID? I mean, if all you do is show up, pull the lever and leave, how could you EVER get caught? Even if you required ID, most people would still get away with it, since it's easy enough to forge an ID. But at least then it's a THEORETICAL possibility that you might get caught.

In any case, this is all moot unless the state's action actually is a "burden" - and showing ID (which we do all the time) hardly qualifies.

Posted by: not now on April 28, 2008 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

I still don't understand what makes the groups you identify--minorities, the elderly, the disabled, the poor, and the young--somehow less likely to have the requisite ID. Do these people not have IDs? Is there something about their status (economic/physical/ethnic) that makes them somehow less likely to have ID?

At least 21 million voting age Americans do not have the required documents to get a photo voter ID. An overwhelming majority of these are elderly and/or poor. As has been stated here, there have been so few verifiable examples of voter fraud that one can't help but think that this was a solution vainly in search of a problem.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on April 28, 2008 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

In response to the comments that have been made, these arguments are simply going beyond the bounds of this case.

21 million people incapable of getting IDs? I'll not attempt to verify the number, but this case was about Indiana, not the country.

Further--and I apologize for getting into legalese, but my tuition payments require me to at least pay lip service to the fact--the law was challenged "facially," rather than as "applied." The disadvantages spoken of, the equal protection violations, etc., were far too speculative to make voter IDs categorically impermissible. It would have been far, far different, if disadvantaged Voter X showed up to the polls, provided, suppose, an expired ID b/c they had recently moved to the area and their home with all their documents had burned down, but were denied the ability to vote. Now that would actually present a viable challenge. The Court in that case could carve out an exception for such cases. Same where a voting precinct was made up of peasant farmers, each with lots of 10 square feet, who had no material possessions but a shovel and the clothes on their back. Were such people to show up to the polls and be denied their right to vote, the Court would be hard pressed to let the law stand without any provision for such cases.

Absent that, saying categorically that voter ID laws violate equal protection because some people (I admit, a signifcant number of people) don't have them, can't get them, etc., is a bit silly.

Posted by: nvs on April 28, 2008 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

"At least 21 million voting age Americans do not have the required documents to get a photo voter ID."


Let me rephrase. Over 21 million Americans are poor precisely because the Democratic party told them they didn't need to be regular citizens with an ID. Hence, no one knows about these people, no one hires them, no one cares.

Posted by: Matt on April 28, 2008 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Voter ID is perfectly reasonable, and for Democrats to insist that having a photo ID is not needed is to basically disenfranchise their constituents from most of economic life, not just voting.

Finding that a regulation is merely 'reasonable' has never been -- until today -- sufficient to save a measure that restricts 'those rights of the very essence of a scheme of ordered liberty' (Palko).

Such regulation -- until today -- had to pass strict scrutiny:

  • Is there a compelling state interest?

  • Is the measure narrowly tailored to address only the harm?

  • Is this the least restrictive means to address the harm?
  • I guess votin is not one of the rights of the essence of f a scheme of ordered liberty, but just a 'would-be-nice-if' right.

    Posted by: Davis X. Machina on April 28, 2008 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

    I hope someone has the time and info to craft a better response to nvs than I can, because I think it's important to detail just how and why this affects too many people.

    As mentioned, there are the people who literally don't have documents -- for instance, maybe their local courthouse was destroyed in a flood or fire, a la Katrina. If the files still exist, getting copies may be very difficult, involving calls and letters to government bureaucracies. This takes time, education, and possibly money.

    Then, there are the people who can't drive. They are eligible for a state ID, but that is not always easy to obtain. Getting to the rural county seat, located 30 minutes away or more by car would be easy if you could drive. But what if you have to take the bus, which takes 2 hours? What if no bus goes there? What if no one you know has a car or has weekdays available to drive you? Even if you can overcome these issues, you need to pay for the ID. Even $20 can be a big deal to someone who is poor. Sure, if someone is sufficiently motivated they will likely find a way. But if one lives in a small town or underground, you might be surprised how long someone can go without ID.

    While each group might only be a small percentage of the population, when you add them up it is certainly enough to affect elections in a big way. (Not to mention it limits voter rights.)

    Posted by: filosofickle on April 28, 2008 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

    Gee, I guess my sympathies are with the full-mooners on this one. Being asked to present a photo ID is such a ubiquitous aspect of modern living in an industrialized, technologically advanced society that I fail to see that requiring it prior to voting places an undue burden on anyone.

    It is not like a poll tax or an IQ test that restricts a citizen's right to vote based on a substantive characteristic irrelevant to their voting right. Presenting an ID is not a measure of a substantive characteristic (other than one's identity), but a procedural requirement for such a wide and diverse list of mundane tasks that I won't even bother to try to list them here.

    On the other hand, the poster above is correct that the equal protection clause is violated if a procedural requirement has a disparate impact on protected group or infringes upon a fundamental right, unless that procedure passes strict scrutiny. However, it seems that this question is a factual issue, not a legal one. I say this because clearly the state has a compelling interest in preventing voter fraud. Showing a picture ID strikes me as a narrowly tailored method of proving that you are who you say you are. Finally, what other (effective) means would be less restrictive?

    The factual question of whether voter fraud actually exists in any substantial amount--and thus warrants state action to prevent it--is controlling here. I'm not familiar with the data, but what Kevin alluded to certainly suggests that the claims of voter fraud appear exaggerated. However, we also require data conclusively showing that citizens would have their voting rights threatened or that they would be disproportionally affected by such a measure based on race, income, age, or disability, and the evidence for that seems awfully thin as well.

    Posted by: Tom on April 28, 2008 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

    To add to my previous comments, Kevin cites a Common Cause press release that, among other things, says the following:
    "And in the ultimate Catch-22, the process for getting a birth certificate may require the voter to present identification. Moreover, the process for getting the birth certificate, particularly for a citizen who was not born in Indiana, can take months."

    I have some experience with this recently. I needed a birth certificate to get a new driver's license. My state has a web site where you can request your birth certificate and request rush delivery (for a fee). I received my Missouri birth certificate at my Maryland address 2 days later.

    I understand that many members of the affected group will not have Internet access and will not be able to afford the fee. However, this is precisely the sort of thing "get out the voter" efforts by the parties is designed to address. It is an easy enough matter for the DNC to identify probable Democratic voters and provide them with all the assistance they need, including giving them a ride to the polling place, which they do routinely.

    Posted by: Tom on April 28, 2008 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

    *

    Posted by: mhr on April 28, 2008 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

    Tom,

    You are applying a "strict scrutiny" test to this case. I actually don't think the Indiana law warrents that high a level of scrutiny. My Con Law is a bit iffy, but I don't think that the groups that are affected: the poor, the elderly, the disabled, etc. qualify as a suspect class. I think that a "rational basis test" would probably be appropriate. Of course, anything can pass a rational basis test. Unfortunately, even though I heartily disagree with the Indiana law, I think that it is probably Constitutional under the rational basis standard (I haven't read the decision yet, so I don't know which standard the majority applied).

    Posted by: adlsad on April 28, 2008 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK
    Presumably these were the best examples that anyone could come up with.

    Well one could mention Ann Coulter. And didn`t Karl Rove do something similar?

    Posted by: iop on April 28, 2008 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK
    I mean, if all you do is show up, pull the lever and leave, how could you EVER get caught?

    You mean other than when the actual registered voter that you were impersonating shows up and is told that s/he already voted?

    That's why voting scams usually concentrate on getting recently deceased people to "vote." How else are you supposed to be sure that the real voter won't show up, prove who s/he is, and your fake vote gets invalidated?

    Posted by: Mnemosyne on April 28, 2008 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

    Filosofickle,

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. If I didn't have 3 exams this week, I would probably craft a response to the people who support the Indiana law.

    However, just because a law passes Constitutional muster does not mean that it is right. It's pretty hard to argue that this law is unconstitutional. Voter ID laws are something that need to be remedied legislatively. Also, the Indiana Democratic party will have to organize a massive "get out the vote" campaign to offset the disadvantages of this law.

    Posted by: adlsad on April 28, 2008 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

    From what I read when this Indiana law was being passed, it is quite easy to argue that this law is unconstitutional based on the precedent set by Supreme Court decisions on poll taxes. IIRC, some of the poll taxes that were declared unconstitutional were lower, in current dollars, than the cost of getting a state ID in most places now.

    The Supreme Court can overturn precedents like this, but it would be nice to know whether they even bothered to address the issue.

    Posted by: tanstaafl on April 28, 2008 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

    Florida’s effort before the 2000 election pretty much demonstrates what it is all about. The state hired a private company to screen voter rolls for felons. The company proposed a two stage effort, an initial screen to turn up possible felons, followed by a second stage where each case was followed up, as the initial screen was expected to turn up large numbers of false positives, i.e. suspected felons who in fact where law abiding citizens. The state over-ruled their own consultants and only paid for the first stage, after which all the names turned up where purged from the voter rolls. After all, it allowed the state to save some money and kick even more of those democrat leaning minorities off the rolls. Considering how close the 2008 presidential race was in Florida, W. may owe his presidency to the whole stinking affair.

    Posted by: fafner1 on April 28, 2008 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

    Whether voter fraud exists as a real issue or not has EVERYTHING to do with the validity of this law. Remember poll taxes? Or literacy tests? The reason these were put in place had nothing to do with anything other than an effort to put up barriers to a certain class of voters, African-Americans. Look at it another way: what if the sponsors of this bill said, 'look we know voter fraud is a bogus issue. But our research shows that if we require a photo ID, we can eliminate 5% of the voters and 90% of the eliminated voters would have voted for the Democrats.' If we had that evidence, would that change the validity of the law?

    Posted by: Flashy on April 28, 2008 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

    Tom,
    I see your point. I had the family attorney handle my ID and it really was no trouble at all. I realize a few people may not have attorneys on retainer, but someone might come along to help them out. If the burden of helping them falls on the Democratic Party, so much the better.

    Posted by: scrooge on April 28, 2008 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

    Once again, Kevin Drum explains an important issue so clearly and concisely that he's guaranteed to be ignored by the big leagues.

    Posted by: akjjd on April 28, 2008 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

    As a resident of Chicago, I find it comical that someone would pretend that vote fraud doesn't exist.

    Why should illegal aliens be allowed to vote? How is it that minorities can drive to polling places, but getting an ID is an unreasonable burden? Sounds like racism to me--minorities are too "lazy" to go get a picture ID.

    Posted by: Luther on April 28, 2008 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

    Justice John Paul Stevens seems to have lost his everlovin' mind. If these are the kinds of decisions he's going to come to, he may as well retire. Senility is not pretty--just look at McCain.

    Posted by: on April 28, 2008 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

    I think the main problem with the law is this: How is it right to put extra identification restraints on in person voting, yet absentee voting is still left as unverifiable as ever? If this law did anything to cut down on absentee ballot fraud, which is several magnitudes more widespread than in person fraud, then it might actually make some sense. Without that, however, it is obviously a bald faced attempt to suppress traditionally Democratic constituencies. The law solves a non-existent problem, ignores a legitimate one and creates many others for people who just happen to vote Democratic.

    Posted by: bwaage on April 28, 2008 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

    Great post Kevin. I too read Stevens' footnote with the "evidence" of voter fraud and was embarrassed. For a good judge to get bent like that, bad stuff.

    Posted by: Obama/Webb 08 on April 28, 2008 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

    It's amazing that Wright is considered a man more dangerous to our body politic that these judges. Where is the punditry condemning such decisions so obviously poised to take our country to a state that our founders definitely did not intend?

    Posted by: gregor on April 28, 2008 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

    I call into question every previous election before the invention of photography then. I say we make the supreme court an elected office. They answer not to the people. They are nothing better than a clique of despots and idiots. They have no sense of justice and have become political appointees--nothing more. The most important Constitutional reform, after the abortion that was Bush V. Gore, is a complete overhaul of the Supreme Court. It took one moronic court to undermine our whole government. When they became political, they ended the republic.

    We really have much freedom left for a fascist country. In due course, I would expect that one will only be able to vote with an approved party ID. I grew up thinking conservatives hated this type of government intervention; that they believed in the freedom of the individual; that they believed in less government and trusted in the people. I was so wrong. Just because George Will speaks lovingly about baseball doesn't mean he won't fire a fastball at your head an steal your wallet. We have now, clearly, the worst performance of all three branches of government in American history. When the corporations set up the shell of a propaganda media, they created a shield under which America was overtaken by cancer. Many problems are eroding our very existence as a nation. But Hillary can take another blue-collar shot of Crown Royal, and all is forgotten. What a nightmare since December 2000.

    Posted by: Sparko on April 28, 2008 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

    I tried to post a number of links earlier today, but the moderator must not have approved it as it never showed up.

    The highlights:

    As much as 11% of eligible voters do not have a gov't issued photo ID.

    11 million natural-born citizens currently lack the required documents to obtain a state ID.

    In Georgia, there isn't a single location in the city of Atlanta where you can get a state photo ID (in place of a drivers license).

    1 in 5 older african americans have no birth record because of home births.

    ---

    This is not just about illegals, or "lazy" minorities. These are real barriers to participating in the system. You can't just write off 10% of the population!


    [I didn't even see the comment to publish, or I certainly would have. Sometimes posts with multiple links go right past us and into the ether.]

    Posted by: filosofickle on April 29, 2008 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

    It's pretty easy to see how this law would effectively disenfranchise people who don't have enough income to own or rent a place of their own.

    Suppose you were a person who regularly moves from one place to another. Your parents are recently deceased and you can't afford your own place. Fortunately, you have several friends who are willing to put you up for a few months. Unfortunately, this means that you have to move every few months.

    Each time you move to another friend's place, you'd need to run over to the county seat to get a new ID. Each trip takes a full day off work. If you move several times during the year, the effort involved in obtaining a voter ID becomes a significant obstacle to voting. On top of that, there's the difficulty of proving that you live at a particular address.

    One of my brothers lived this way when he was younger. I guess that means he's unfit to vote.

    Posted by: FS on April 29, 2008 at 12:26 AM | PERMALINK

    Gee Kevin, you never heard about the Washington State election for governor? Just another example of why the Democratic Party is completely unserious on the issue of fair and honest election processes.

    Posted by: Brad on April 29, 2008 at 6:00 AM | PERMALINK

    alsad:

    Strict scrutiny is applied in 2 contexts:

    1) when an otherwise neutral policy or procedure has a disparate impact on a protected group identified by the 1964 civil rights act.

    2) when a policy or procedure violates a fundamental constitutional right (e.g., freedom of speech) regardless of the group(s) it affects

    In either case, a law can stand if it passes the strict scrutiny requirement. If data shows that the Indiana law would have a disparate impact on blacks or other racial minorities, then strict scrutiny would apply. Also, I guess I had assumed that voting was a fundamental right, much like freedom of speech or religious affiliation. On the other hand, states routinely strip felons of their right to vote, which suggests that it is not.

    Posted by: Tom on April 29, 2008 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

    To follow up on my own post again.

    This site
    http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/fundrights.html
    offers a pretty good explanation of how strict scrutiny in applied in voting cases. The key passage:

    "The right to vote is the fundamental right that has been the source of the most significant Supreme Court litigation. The Constitution addresses voting in Article II and four subsequent amendments (the 15th, forbidding discrimination in voting on the basis "of race, color, or previous condition of servitude;" the 19th, forbidding discrimination in voting based on sex; the 24th, prohibiting "any poll tax" on a person before they can vote; and the 26th, granting the right to vote to all citizens over the age of 18). The Court has chosen to also strictly scrutinize restrictions on voting other than those specifically prohibited by the Constitution because, in its words, the right to vote "is preservative of other basic civil and political rights." It should be noted, however, that "strict scrutiny" in the fundamental rights cases tends to be, in actual practice a little less strict than in suspect classifications cases. The Court, for example, has upheld reasonable (e.g., 50-day) residency restrictions on voting and state laws denying the vote to convicted felons, as well as age and citizenship requirements."

    Posted by: Tom on April 29, 2008 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

    I have to add my two cents - not constitutional theory or other deep thinking, strictly anecdotal. My 80 year old mother lives in an assisted-living facility near me. Following a health crisis 2 years ago, she was in several different facilities for rehabilitation and such. She moved here last year. She can no longer drive, so her license expired. Worrying about having a photo ID was not particularly high on the list of concerns. To get a non-driver photo ID will mean that some Saturday I will take her and her walker and her insulin and her documents to the nearest state motor vehicle facility, 10 miles away, and she will sit for hours on a hard chair that will make her hips hurt and her diabetes-weakened skin get sore. We will hope like hell that she doesn't have to go to the bathroom, because its going to be a pigsty after pissed-off people who don't care have left their debris on the floor and she will risk slipping and falling. Eventually, she will start crying and we will leave, without the photo ID. It will take her two days to recover. We don't live in Indiana, so in November I will simply drive her the little polling place up the street. The helpful volunteers will compliment her hair, look at her voter registration card and make sure she knows how to work the machine. It will take a total of 20 minutes and she will be back in her room, feeling happy that she did her civic duty , and knowing that she did her part to help her beloved Republican party win. She is not lazy and she is not uninformed about the politics. She is old, sick and feeble and feeling increasingly left out of the world. Voting an absentee ballot isn't the same - she will be confused by the form, and nervous about doing it right, having heard that the slightest mistake invalidates it. If the Supreme Court thinks that all of this is in the national interest, and if our state passes an Indiana-type law, she will accept it as people of her generation do. But, somewhere down the road, in a bad moment, it will come pouring out with tears as "I paid taxes for 60 years - I voted in every election - I volunteered for everything - why won't they let me vote?"

    Posted by: morbuck54 on April 29, 2008 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

    I violently disagree with SCOTUS on this. This is so abysmally wrong-headed, another thing for the rest of the world to laugh at America about.

    However, there just might be a silver lining in it.

    And what might that actually be?

    Once the wing nuts have voter ID laws in place in 50 states and D.C., ones that follow the Indiana model, what are they going to use as their raison d'etre in future voter intimidation scenarios?

    They have just shot out from under themselves the reason to have young repubs threateningly present at precincts. Since everyone will have photo IDs, their presence won't be necessary, and they won't be able to challenge voters as readily. How much less will they be able to do? A LOT less. They may even be thrown out of precincts, since their argument about voter fraud will be GONE.

    Voting in those Dem-leaning precincts should go much faster without the a-holes there, ALLOWING MORE DEMS AND LIBERAL INDIES TO ACTUALLY VOTE.

    If so, THANK YOU, SCOTUS.

    At least, that is my first take on it.

    Anyone want to jump on me with all fours? LOL

    Posted by: SteveGinIL on May 2, 2008 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

    Thank you for valuable information.

    Posted by: Italiak1 on October 16, 2008 at 6:03 AM | PERMALINK

    The topic is quite curious, i must say

    Posted by: Libbotard on November 6, 2008 at 6:07 AM | PERMALINK




     

     

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