Indiana’s ID Law & Primary …

Posted in Uncategorized by groffellison on May 4, 2008

Interesting piece in about the impact of the recent Supreme Court ruling on Indiana’s voter identification law:

Experts say African-American voters — a key constituency of Barack Obama in the primaries thus far — might be disproportionately affected in Tuesday’s Indiana primary by the Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold the state’s voter identification requirement. 

Studies show that African-Americans are especially likely not to have the identification necessary to vote on Tuesday. Several other groups, notably elderly voters, disabled voters and young voters, are also more likely than the general population not to have the necessary identification. 

Let’s see how this turns out.  There could be a major problem for Sen. Obama in Indiana should his core base of African Americans and youth voters be negatively impacted by the recent ruling. Wouldn’t it be strange if a Sen. Clinton nomination hinged on the result of three items converging: 1) super-delegate math; 2) GOP “Operation Chaos” party-switching and 3) lost votes due to a conveniently timed decision on an ID law.

On one hand, the ID law can appear somewhat draconian in measure and application, particularly considering who will be disproportionately effected.  On the other hand, having an ID – and making it easier to get one for those who clearly qualify – is pretty much common sense.  But, the trick is in how the law is applied.  An examination of the Indiana measure, matched with the statistics, shows some games being played. In this digital day and age, however, civil rights groups really need to recalibrate the message and adapt – official IDs are pretty much a fundamental foundation of a modern, digital society.  The ID isn’t going anywhere.  So, while registering the 18-24 crowd to vote, there is also a critical need to make certain that same crowd secures proper identification, a tool essential for more than just voting.

We don’t think the ID law ruling is something Republicans should celebrate, mainly for the reason that the world’s most powerful nation can’t promote or implement an equal standard for something as simple as proper identification.  


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