Supreme Court, voting, and picture ID
The Supreme Court, in a very split decision, has upheld requiring picture ID to vote. Stevens writes the sorta-plurality for himself, Roberts, and Kennedy (quite a combination!), while Scalia concurs with Thomas and Alito, and Souter, Ginsberg and Breyer dissent in two different documents.
Don Kates has expressed concern that Heller might wind up with divisions like this.
The sorta-plurality concludes that (under elections case law, which is sorta strange) the burden of getting picture ID is not a heavy burden, except perhaps for a few (who could bring as-applied suits covering only themselves). Scalia says that even as those, the overall burden is so light that the statute should be upheld (i.e., discouraging as-applied challenges, too). The dissent argues that the burden of getting picture ID may be great for the disabled and those without cars. It adds that there is little evidence of in-person voter fraud, but much more for absentee ballot fraud, which is not affected by the law.
These days a 6-3 split (however they get to it) is a landslide
Posted by: Flighterdoc, MD at April 28, 2008 02:12 PM
Its telling that it was the Indiana Rat Party was involved with this, it makes it harder for them to bus in loads of fraudulent voters. Where else do these statists argue that citizens are entitled to privacy except in vetting voters? The ones that want to count"all the votes"?
Posted by: The Mechanic at April 28, 2008 04:26 PM
My experience has been that it is rather hard for the elections to be run fraudulently...unless the volunteer election inspectors, drawn from the local population, is complicit in the fraud. It is remotely possible that they are the dupes of the fraudsters.
Of course, that's not impossible.
I've heard tales (from back in the day of punch-card ballots) of absentee-ballot counters being handed a punch-tool so that they could make sure that all the absentee ballots were "properly punched".
Apparently, the City Clerk's office didn't see the possibility for fraud--or even invalidation of ballots--in that little gift to the absentee-ballot counters.
I was very happy when my home state passed a version of Indiana's voter-ID law. Amusingly, the legislature that voted on it did so quietly, and wrote it to take effect after the occurrence of the next election. Methinks they wanted to not have to worry about the problem when that next election happened...
Posted by: karrde at April 29, 2008 07:24 AM