JANUARY 04, 2008
As the 2008 presidential primaries get going, the Supreme Court will hear a pair of cases next week involving Indiana’s voter identification law and the decision could have a huge national impact.
Intended to prevent election fraud, 23 states have enacted laws that require voters to present photo identification to assure the identity of the person voting. Civil rights groups have challenged the measures in court, claiming that they are racist because the poor and minorities will be discouraged from voting.
In fact, the nation’s oldest civil rights group (the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People or NAACP) believes voter identification laws are a ploy to keep the Democratic base of the poor and elderly blacks from getting to the polls because many don’t have a photo ID.
Liberal courts and judges across the nation have agreed with that bizarre argument in striking down voter ID laws in various states, including Ohio, Georgia, Missouri and just a few weeks ago in Florida. However, the Supreme Court reversed an appellate court decision when it upheld Arizona’s voter ID law in October.
Overwhelmingly approved by Arizona citizens in 2004, the law requires voters to present proof of citizenship when they register to vote and photo identification when they go to the polls on Election Day. In its unanimous decision, which vacated an order by the notoriously overturned Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the High Court said that the measure does not turn away qualified registered voters.
The Indiana cases that will go before the Supreme Court next week was enacted in 2005 and upheld by a federal judge as well as the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. Before the law passed, voters simply signed a poll book to vote. A decision is expected to be issued by late June, in time for the November presidential election. The cases are Indiana Democratic Party v. Rokita and Crawford v. Marion County Election Board.
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