Voter Fraud, Voter ID, SCOTUS and Shades of Jim Crow
In one of the last vestiges of the pretty fantasy that voting precincts are like neighborhoods and everyone knows each other, there are great swaths of this nation where you don't need to show a government-issue picture ID to vote. Maybe you show your voter reg card, or they compare your signature, or you do show ID but you don't have to. Indiana is not one of those places. Of course, their little voter ID law, which was put into place to prevent supposedly rampant voter fraud (and not the hanging-chads kind), discriminates against people that don't have and/or can't afford drivers licenses or non-license state ID card. Those people are mostly poor (cough, often minorities, cough) and elderly, who, surprise! Vote Democratic more often than not. The Supreme Court heard a challenge to that voter identification law this morning.
Supporters of the law point to the need to prevent voter fraud and, by the way, this is totally not part of the Republican playbook and Democrats vote twice, like, all the time which is why Bush has won the last two elections. The Bush Administration weighed in on the side of the State of Indiana in this case, in case you were wondering.
While some of the justices noted that there might be ever-so-slightly less stringent ways to be able to prove a voter's identity, Ginsburg wondered aloud why picture IDs couldn't be given as part of voter registration rather than requiring voters go through a whole different process to get identification, but that was both too logical for Indiana (and the other states that have passed these laws) and missing the point. Ruth, honey, it's not about passing laws that make sense and help enfranchise voters! It's about making potential voters on the lower end of the income/mobility scale jump through just enough hoops to discourage them about the process but not so many that getting an ID looks like another form of a poll tax.
Oh, wait, you thought IDs were free? No, they're not. But that doesn't make it a poll tax, see, because it's just a fee to get a card that you'll be required to have in order to vote. See the difference? See?
Yeah, me neither. Also, I insist my polling station accept my voter registration card and always refuse to show picture identification, but that's just me.
Supreme Court Weighs Photo-ID Requirement for Voters [CQ Politics]