(STATEHOUSE) April 28, 2008 — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld Indiana’s law requiring voters to provide photo ID at the polls before they can vote.
The law, which passed through the Republican-led Indiana House of Representatives in 2005, seeks to prevent voter fraud. State Rep. Jackie Walorski co-authored the legislation passed during the 2005 session and is pleased to see it upheld by today’s ruling.
“This is a key ruling on the side of common-sense governance,” stated Rep. Walorski. “Showing a photo ID when casting a ballot is a simple way to curb voter fraud. Photo ID’s are readily available and often are needed to get around in everyday society, whether it is renting a movie, opening a bank account or getting on a plane.
“When I co-authored the legislation in 2005, I had many constituents ask me why they did not have to show identification when voting. They were concerned that just matching a signature in a poll book was not enough security. This provides another layer of protection, while still giving everyone a chance to cast a ballot. I want to ensure that everyone can vote, but only once.”
Certain groups opposed the law, saying that it infringed upon the rights of certain voters, such as the poor, elderly and those from minority groups. However, the law includes provisions for all citizens to receive a free photo identification card issued by the state if they do not already possess one and exempts individuals living in nursing homes where a polling place is located from the requirement to show a photo ID to vote. The law also exempts those who are opposed to being photographed for religious reasons.
There are more than 20 states that require some form of identification to be presented at the polls.