Posted by Adam Fogel on September 04, 2007Voter ID Laws in Georgia and Arizona are threatening to create additional barriers to participation for voters.
A Federal Judge in Georgia heard closing arguments last week in a case that examines the constitutionality of a law that requires voters show one of six forms of photo ID approved by the legislature when voting in person. Advocates of the measure argue that the requirement will eliminate voter impersonation at the polls, but "both former Secretary of State Cathy Cox, a Democrat, and current Secretary of State Karen Handel, a Republican, have not documented a single instance of such in-person voter fraud."
Opponents of the ID bill argue that the actual intent of the measure is to suppress turnout among the elderly, minorities and the disabled--groups that have traditionally had the most difficult time meeting such ID requirements.
In Arizona, a Federal Judge ruled to uphold a number of provisions included in Proposition 200, a 2004 ballot measure that requires individuals to provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote and certain types of identification when voting in person. However, the judge left several components of the law unresolved, which center on claims that Proposition 200 "violates the federal Voting Rights Act by imposing disproportionate burdens on the elderly and minorities, particularly Native Americans and Hispanics."
If Congress passed H.J. 28-The Right to Vote Amendment, sponsored by Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and endorsed by FairVote, would any of these restrictive voter ID Laws be constitutional? I don't think so.