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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Good news for Indiana voters

Breaking news from the U.S. Supreme Court: Indiana's tough voter ID law stands.

"Indiana won the national battle for voter protection today," Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita said. "Across the country, leaders are thanking Hoosiers for raising the bar and protecting voters and improving the integrity of the election process."

A significant number of Hoosiers live in the suburbs of Chicago, and are painfully aware of the wicked politics that infest the city that birthed Barack Obama's political career. Every false vote cancels a legitimate vote. Do you want your vote to be cancelled?

John Fund comments in the Wall Street Journal:

In ruling on the constitutionality of Indiana's voter ID law – the toughest in the nation – the Supreme Court had to deal with the claim that such laws demanded the strictest of scrutiny by courts, because they could disenfranchise voters. All nine Justices rejected that argument.

Even Justice Stephen Breyer, one of the three dissenters who would have overturned the Indiana law, wrote approvingly of the less severe ID laws of Georgia and Florida. The result is that state voter ID laws are now highly likely to pass constitutional muster.

That's for the good.

Consider this argument: that photo ID laws could disenfranchise voters. There's another constitutional right that could be denied by laws requiring IDs to utilize: Second Amendment rights. Do the same people who argue about the possible disproportional impact of photo ID laws for the poor and elderly also worry about the difficulty of these people to meet requirements for legally acquiring a gun? And it's even worse, since it's the poor who face more crime, and the elderly whose physical infirmities most require a gun to defend themselves against younger, stronger assailants. They are most in need of guns, yet few would argue that people should be able to buy guns without showing ID.

Let's be honest about the Indiana voter ID law. Photo IDs are an essential requirement for basic living. You present a photo ID to cash a check, open a bank account, buy alcohol, tour an apartment, or fly on a commercial flight. And if you are somehow able to live without an ID, by not doing any of these things, a photo ID will be provided to you at no charge. And even if you don't avail yourself of this option, you can still vote a provisional ballot, and all you need to do is show ID later. Exactly how is this possibly disenfranchising?



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