Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Supreme Court Upholds Indiana Voter ID Law

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Supreme Court Upholds Indiana Voter ID Law

Article excerpt

In what some have called the most substantive election-related decision since 2000's controversial Bush v. Gore, a 6-3 U.S. Supreme Court Monday upheld Indiana's law requiring voters to produce some type of photo identification at their polling place.

A less-restrictive measure is awaiting final action on House amendments in the Oklahoma Senate.

Its principal House author, state Rep. Sue Tibbs, R-Tulsa, said the legislation would not prevent anyone eligible from voting, "but will instead restore voter confidence during elections."

Tibbs, who has filed similar measures several times previously, said such a law would address voting irregularities that may occur during elections, problems that add to disenchantment with the system.

"I think no matter how we open up the process, that people continually don't go vote," she said. "I think that knowing that everybody else is accountable, as they are, will increase people going to the polls."

Tibbs called the court decision "a giant step forward in accomplishing that, throughout the United States."

The Oklahoma measure, Senate Bill 1150, gives voters several options in addition to presenting a photo ID, including a utility bill, bank statement, government or paycheck or other government or tribal document showing their name and address.

A voter who cannot produce one of the above may sign a sworn statement affirming that he or she is the person identified on the precinct registry.

In Monday's decision, a plurality opinion written by Justice John Paul Stevens determined that, based upon the court record, "We cannot conclude that the statute imposes 'excessively burdensome requirements' on any class of voters."

Only two other justices joined in Stevens' plurality opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy.

They concluded that "a somewhat heavier burden may be placed on a limited number of persons" under the Indiana law, including those born out-of-state, those who may have difficulty obtaining a birth certificate, the homeless and others. …

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