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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Indiana voter photo ID law upheld on appeal
Jeannie Shawl at 8:06 PM ET

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on Thursday upheld [opinion, PDF] an Indiana law requiring voters to show photo identification [Indiana SOS backgrounder, PDF] before casting a ballot. In its ruling, the court upheld a lower court decision [PDF text; JURIST report] that the law does not put an undue burden on the right to vote and therefore does not violate the US Constitution. The Indiana Democratic Party and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana had appealed [JURIST report] the district court's decision, but during oral arguments [JURIST report] Judge Richard Posner, who wrote the appeals court ruling, was skeptical of the plaintiffs' contention that the law would prevent voters from casting ballots. AP has more.

The US Supreme Court issued a per curiam opinion [PDF text] last October ruling that Arizona could enforce its voter ID law [JURIST report], which requires voters to show government-issued ID cards [JURIST news archive] at the polls. Similar voter ID laws have been upheld in Georgia and Pennsylvania [JURIST reports], though the Missouri Supreme Court struck down a law [JURIST report] last year requiring voters to show ID cards at the polls. A lawsuit over Ohio's voter ID legislation ended just before last November's mid-term election in a settlement [JURIST report] requiring future Ohio absentee voters to show proof of ID when applying for absentee ballots, but allowing absentee ballots already obtained without ID to be counted.

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