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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Ind. Decisions - Still more on possible appeal of Indiana voter ID case to Supreme Court [Updated]

Updating this ILB entry from last Friday, Rick Hasen of Election Law Blog had another post Monday on the 7th Circuit's failure to grant a petition for rehearing. He remarks further on his question: "In the face of little evidence of either voter fraud or voter burden, does resolution of this case turn on whether the judge is a Democrat or a Republican?"

Also relevant may be a story I first saw this morning on the front-page of the NY Times, written by Ian Urbina, that begins:

WASHINGTON, April 10 — A federal panel responsible for conducting election research played down the findings of experts who concluded last year that there was little voter fraud around the nation, according to a review of the original report obtained by The New York Times.

Instead, the panel, the Election Assistance Commission, issued a report that said the pervasiveness of fraud was open to debate.

The revised version echoes complaints made by Republican politicians, who have long suggested that voter fraud is widespread and justifies the voter identification laws that have been passed in at least two dozen states.

Democrats say the threat is overstated and have opposed voter identification laws, which they say disenfranchise the poor, members of minority groups and the elderly, who are less likely to have photo IDs and are more likely to be Democrats.

Though the original report said that among experts “there is widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling place fraud,” the final version of the report released to the public concluded in its executive summary that “there is a great deal of debate on the pervasiveness of fraud.” * * *

And two weeks ago, the panel faced criticism for refusing to release another report it commissioned concerning voter identification laws. That report, which was released after intense pressure from Congress, found that voter identification laws designed to fight fraud can reduce turnout, particularly among members of minorities. In releasing that report, which was conducted by a different set of scholars, the commission declined to endorse its findings, citing methodological concerns.

Access the 48-page Draft Report on Voter Fraud and Voter Intimidation here. Access the 24-page Final Report - Election Crimes: An Initial Review and Recommendations for Future Study, here.

[More] Hasen also remarks on the Times story, here.

[Still more] Both Doug Webber of the AG's office, and Bill Groth, who represented the plainitffs in the voter ID suit, are listed as interviewes on p. 31 of the Voter Fraud draft linked above.

[Updated at 2:30 pm] Hasen on Indiana Secretary of State Rokita here.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 11, 2007 08:31 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions