NEWS

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April 28, 2008

Voter ID

Big, big news concerning the Indiana primary: The Supreme Court just upheld the state's controversial new voter ID law today, in a 6–3 decision. The margin is noteworthy here because it was expected to split along partisan lines, but Justice Stevens ended up writing the ruling opinion.The main argument against this law is that it's targeted against two heavily Democratic blocs: minorities, and really old minorities. Interestingly enough, Stevens actually conceded this point in his opinion:

"If a nondiscriminatory law is supported by valid neutral justifications, those justifications should not be disregarded simply because partisan interests may have provided one motivation for the votes of individual legislators..."
In arguing the case before the court, the state was unable to cite a single prosecuted case of voter impersonation fraud in an Indiana election. Ever. The defense, for its part, was unable to cite sufficient examples of disenfranchisement in the two-plus years since the law went into place. Personally, I think if the state of Indiana wants to prevent dead people from voting (which is a worthy goal), they should start by making some effort to clear the voting rolls of dead people. Laws like this that put the strain on the voters only distract from the fact that the state's voting bureaucracy leaves a lot to be desired.Anyway, regardless of the merits, this is one more thing both Obama and Clinton will have to worry about next Tuesday...