Arizona Wins Voter ID Appeal

Arizona passed legislation in 2004 that would require individual present photo ID when they want to vote.  In fact, Arizona went so far as to require proof of citizenship in order to vote.  I’m trying to understand how that whole proof of citizenship thing would work.  But clearly I’m in favor of demonstrating you are who you say you are.

At the heart of the case, apparently, is whether or not this requirement presents an undo burden on Latinos.  And the court ruled it didn’t:

 

Arizona is entitled to demand that people present identification before being allowed to cast a ballot, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

In a split decision, the judges rejected arguments that mandating would-be voters show a driver’s license or other identification unfairly discriminates against Latino voters.

I can’t think of a circumstance where anyone, Latino or not Latino, would find difficulty in obtaining identification that had a picture on it.

I suspect we’ll see more of this in the near future.

10 responses to “Arizona Wins Voter ID Appeal

  1. This should be an interesting Supreme Court case! I think they decided both sides of the split decision correctly, though in political terms I find requiring ID a bad law (fraud is very uncommon and this almost always harms voter turnout). I think the state may be required to make free photo IDs available to avoid this potentially be construed as a poll tax.

    • This should be an interesting Supreme Court case!

      Indeed.

      I think the state may be required to make free photo IDs available to avoid this potentially be construed as a poll tax.

      Very interesting indeed. I wonder if they think a one-time low cost fee for an ID a “tax.”

  2. Years ago, I went to the Secretary of State’s office. I took a short test; I showed the clerk my library card for identification purposes; they took my picture; I paid four dollars, and I was issued a driver’s license. Back then, it was easy.

    My wife votes at all elections, but since she hates driving, she never renewed her drivers license when it expired thirty years ago. I finally convinced her that she should have a state issued photo ID. It took us 3 months to collect the “paperwork” necessary to get her new ID. One big problem was just getting a copy of her Birth Certificate. The request to the county clerk’s office needed to be notarized, but how do you prove your identity to the notary without a photo ID?

    The truth is that since 911, it is harder for everyone to get a photo ID. Folks of Latino ancestry should not allow themselves to be fooled into believing that this country only places road blocks in front of non-white foreigners. The road blocks are in front of everyone.

    • I finally convinced her that she should have a state issued photo ID.

      I’ve never gone through that experience; I should one day.

      One big problem was just getting a copy of her Birth Certificate. The request to the county clerk’s office needed to be notarized, but how do you prove your identity to the notary without a photo ID?

      I ran into the same thing when I tried to get a bank account when I moved to Seattle. The bank wanted a home address but the apartment building wanted a checking account.

      Funny now.

  3. I believe other courts have ruled differently (Wisconsin for example) and note that the court did in this instance strike down the part of the law requiring proof of citizenship.

    I know we’ve been through this argument before but I continue to believe that just because it’s easy for some people to obtain drivers licenses doesn’t mean its easy for others. The very fact that you say you don’t think it’s a big deal is evidence that the law has disparate impacts on different types of people. Nobody’s concerned about disenfranchising you but there is legitimate concern about disenfranchising other categories of people.

    I recall an instance in the Wisconsin GOP primary where an eighty something year old WW2 vote was unable to cast his vote because his ID card didn’t meet the requirements of the Wisconsin law. Many old people who don’t drive don’t have a reason or the ability to obtain a license. Many of the urban poor who don’t own cars don’t have them either.

    • note that the court did in this instance strike down the part of the law requiring proof of citizenship.

      Right. I have thought that through…I think a lot of people would struggle to prove citizenship. I’m okay with the court striking that.

      I continue to believe that just because it’s easy for some people to obtain drivers licenses doesn’t mean its easy for others.

      You don’t need a DL, State ID suffices. Now, with that said, see Henry’s struggles above.

  4. The question we should all be asking is what type of evidence of fraud do we need to see before we start disenfranchizing people. Over the past hundred and fifty years our “democracy” (I know it’s not the textbook definition of democracy) has seen the extension of voting rights to people who were long denied it. Now, for the first time in a long time, states are in the process of actually cutting back the number of people who will be able to vote. And what exactly has changed to warrant this? I’ll offer that nothing has changed other than Barak Obama being elected President and a segment of the population not being very happy about it.

    • The question we should all be asking is what type of evidence of fraud do we need to see before we start disenfranchizing people.

      I think the better question is:

      “Why make a law that says you have to be who you say you are and then not provide for a way to check on that?”

      I’ll offer that nothing has changed other than Barak Obama being elected President and a segment of the population not being very happy about it.

      That’s a circular argument. You are assuming that people wanna prevent Obama supporters from voting. I don’t think that’s the case at all. I think it has more to do with immigration. People don’t want illegal aliens voting.

    • I doubt the effort is to stop fraud. In my mind I see it more as a way to prevent lazy and incompetent people from voting.

      When Obama ran for president, the line to vote at my precinct was out the door. Busses were being used to bring residents from the low income apartments to the polls. Many of those folks had clearly not voted in years, if ever. Since that day, there have been several elections, but those rookie electorates have never been back. Apparently they see no need to vote on local school board issues. What does that tell you about those newly registered voters?

      Would you trust those “one time” voters to change a light bulb in your house? If not, then how can you trust them to select the leader of this country? I seriously doubt that they even knew the name of Obama’s vice-presidental running mate.

      Sure… let’s just have everybody vote, regardless how knowledge they are on the issues. Garbage in equals garbage out.

      • Sure… let’s just have everybody vote, regardless how knowledge they are on the issues. Garbage in equals garbage out.

        Well, THAT is a whole ‘nother debate. I have debated that idea before with friends of mine in person. I do it more to see how I feel about it than I do because I actually believe it. It turns out that I’m not that comfortable with building requirements to vote.

        I seriously doubt that they even knew the name of Obama’s vice-presidental running mate.

        There was a video making the rounds back then where a guy was asked who he was gonna vote for, “Obama!” he shouted. When asked if it was because of Obama’s VP choice of Sarah Palin or because Obama felt that he needed to increase American presence in Iraq that caused the man to decide t vote for Obama he answered, “Both!”

        Niiice.

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