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Political Fix by Gloria Penner

It's been so long since I registered to vote that I don't remember what documentation I had to provide. But I do know that when I show up at the neighborhood garage, the poll workers just check out my name and address - and I'm cleared to exercise my privilege as a citizen of this democracy where the will of the people counts.

However, after Monday's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the nation's strictest voting identification law (to discourage voter fraud), that privilege may not be as easily accessible for some citizens . The disputed 2005 Indiana statute that the court reviewed requires that citizens must show federal or state-issued photo ID at polling places. The Democratic Party of Indiana objected, claiming that the legislators who passed the law were blocking elderly, disabled, poor, and minority voters (most of whom vote Democratic) from their rights as citizens, and this is unconstitutional.  But six of the nine justices didn't agree and their decision is expected to have national repercussions as more states adopt similar legislation, possibly before the 2008 general election.

Interestingly, last time the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on a state election matter was in 2000 (Bush v. Gore) when it overturned the Florida Supreme Court's decision to count thousands of under-votes (ballots not counted by machines). Three (Kennedy, Scalia and Thomas) of the five justices who voted for that overturn, which delivered Florida's electoral votes (and the election) to George W. Bush, are still serving and this time voted to uphold Indiana's photo ID law.

Matthew C. Scallon
May 08, 2008 at 09:43 PM
"And what about voter fraud? Is it prevalent enough to warrant disenfranchising millions of citizens whose ability is limited to get those government issued photo IDs?" Gloria, Gloria, Gloria. You obviously have never been to Lake County, IN. Maybe your only knowledge of Gary, IN is as the former adobe of the King of Pop and the song from "The Music Man." Hell yeah, it is prevalent enough. The phrase, "Vote Early and Vote Often," didn't stop at the border with Cook County, IL. It spilled right over, with Lake County returning the favor by dumping their sewage into Lake Michigan (but I digress). Good government in Lake County, specifically, has suffered continuously as a result. In fact, the law also subsidized those who couldn't afford state-issued ID's by giving them out free. And, if you are so poor or diabled in Indiana that you are on some form of government assistance, a state-issued ID is part of the assistance package. Your complaint is nothing more than a tempest in a teapot.

michael valentine from Spring Valley
May 20, 2008 at 02:53 AM
Perhaps Mr. Scallon could provide some objective evidence of voter fraud in Illinois. Just another misuse of the Republican tainted Department of Justice that has been turned into a political tool for re-electing Republicans. The use of the Justice Department for political ends is illegal. Perhaps, just perhaps, there will be people going to prison for official corruption. Perhaps lots of them.

Matthew C. Scallon
May 22, 2008 at 05:14 PM
@michael valentine, "objective evidence?" You're joking, right? How about the 1960 Presidential election, where Mayor Richard J. Daley held onto the Cook County results until the national Democratic party leader "gave the number" needed to win the electoral votes in Illinois? What was amazing about these votes was how many of the dearly departed were Kennedy supporters. Now, there were some voter fixes going on in Downstate counties --the main reason that Nixon didn't contest Illinois' results-- but nothing so overt and agregious as what "Da Maya" did in Chicago. To correct your analysis, this isn't a "Department of Justice" program. This is an Indiana state program. So try to find some other boogey man. As far official corruption goes, we all wish that to be so, but none of that has anything to do with vote identification cards. Veritas non ex non sequitor vena.

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