The Supreme Court ruled on Monday to uphold an Indiana law requiring voters to present photo identification before casting their votes, thus paving the way for similar laws in other states. Not surprisingly, people complained about it.
From the comments I’ve read, it seems like the general grievance with this is that IDs are not always free. Thus, a person would have to pay to buy an ID just so they could vote, making it an unconstitutional poll tax. However, in Indiana, a state ID is free, so it’s a moot point. The other complaints I read included: voter intimidation, suppression of democracy, fascism, nanny state, and Karl Rove. I’m only partially kidding. Half of the commenters on the Reddit entry for the article I linked to above were calling this a Bad Idea™. I, along with roughly the other half of the commenters were surprised to learn that this wasn’t already required. I’ve never voted in person, as I’ve voted via absentee ballot in the past couple of elections. But if I did actually go to a polling place, I would definitely expect to have to prove who I am.
I honestly don’t see what the problem is here. The right to vote is not being infringed at all. As a few commenters pointed out, every American has the right to buy and own firearms, but no one complains about having to show ID in order to buy a gun. The idea here is to have legitimate people voting. During the 2006 midterm elections (or was it the 2004 presidential election?), King County in Washington had votes coming in from felons and dead people. I don’t know about you, but that seems to be a major problem.
But the main thing to remember here is that the Supreme Court merely opened the door to allowing states to create laws requiring photo ID. As far as I know, only Indiana has such a law, and their IDs are free. I’m all for this ruling as it preserves state’s rights. For you slippery slope people: it’s easier to fight laws on the state level than on the federal level. Interesting stance for a libertarian, isn’t it?