Supreme Court Upholds IN Voter ID Law

From the Indy Star:

The Supreme Court, in a fractured decision, upheld an Indiana law today that requires voters show a photo ID issued by the federal or state government.

“States should have the ability to implement appropriate and constitutional steps to protect their electoral systems from fraud,” Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter said in response. “We can move forward in Indiana with a process that provides constitutional protections to its citizens protecting their vote from potential fraudulent activity.”

It’s funny. When the Indiana voter ID law was first passed, I was one of the original affiants interviewed by the Indiana Civil Liberties Union opposing the new law.

As a case manager for homeless individuals, my thought was that the new law placed an unreasonable burden on homeless people whose ID had been lost or stolen.  If you’re homeless and need an ID, it’s likely that you have nothing to prove your identity. To get an ID, the first step is to produce a birth certificate, which you can’t usually get if you don’t have state ID. If you can produce something that identifies you, you’re often charged $20 or more to get the birth certificate, and $20 is something most homeless people don’t have, even if they are drug-free, since you can’t get a job or sell plasma without ID.

The new law made it very difficult for many Hoosier homeless people to vote, and I think that’s a crime, especially since there was no evidence that voter fraud was a problem in Indiana.

So yeah, I’m bothered, but not surprised by the SC ruling.

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2 responses to “Supreme Court Upholds IN Voter ID Law

  1. You’re a case manager for homeless people? I work for a Legal Services agency. I feel like we know each other. 🙂

    And yes, it will make it harder for them to vote. But then that was the whole idea, wasn’t it?

  2. Zen, wow! Might you be my long-lost sister? At my agency, we have a legal team from another agency that works with poor people. I really admire their work they do.

    And yes! Voter repression was the idea behind the voter ID law, but solving a problem that didn’t exist was a good way to make it look like they only cared about the integrity of the vote.

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