by Ric Ottaiano
October 23, 2006 

The U.S. Supreme Court has restored some degree of sanity in Arizona by lifting a Ninth Circuit injunction against that state’s law requiring voters to show ID at the polls. This is not the ultimate ruling but allows the November 7 election to go forward with the new law in place while the challenge to its constituionality continues.

Now before you get all riled up over this obvious attempt at disenfranchisement, understand that if a voter does not have a photo ID such as a valid Arizona driver’s license; a valid Arizona non-operating identification license; a tribal enrollment or identification card; or a valid United States federal, state or local government issued identification, that voter can still resort to any of the following in its place:

Two pieces of non-photo identification that have a name and address on them. Usable are: a utility bill that is dated within ninety days of the election such as gas, electric, water, solid waste, sewer, telephone, cell phone or cable television; a bank or credit union statement dated within the ninety days; a valid Arizona vehicle registration; an Indian census card; a property tax statement; a tribal enrollment card; a vehicle insurance card; a recorder’s certificate; a valid government issued identification; or any “official election material” bearing the voter’s name and address.

However, if a voter forgets to bring any of the above to the polling place, he or she can still vote a “provisional” ballot and provide the ID within five days. Something like a voter mulligan it seems.

Now this law certainly doesn’t sound all that onerous to me, but that hasn’t stopped the disenfranchisement lobby from crying foul. It has been called a “21st century poll tax” by the ACLU and a discouragement to the elderly, poor, disabled or minority persons from voting.

How silly this all is, and how transparent. The requirement of valid identification in order to vote is always described as negatively impacting potential Democrat votes. Never Republican votes. Why would that be, I wonder, unless of course it is a large percentage of only Democrat voters who are unable to obtain one of the at least twenty-three (count ‘em) acceptable forms of personal identification.

Do the “elderly” not have drivers licenses or utility bills? Do the poor not drive cars or get phone bills? Do Native Americans not have Indian census cards? Do black or Hispanic voters not receive offical election materials or get an electric bill?

No. But the only group of people that would likely not have ready access to many of these forms of identification is obvious:

Can you say “illegal immigrants”?

[This article can also be seen at Release The Hounds!]

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