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Monday, March 01, 2010

Ind. Decisions - Voter ID case in a nutshell

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette has this note about the upcoming oral argument on its editorial page today:

Lawyers for the League of Women Voters and state government will face off in the Indiana Supreme Court this week over the voter identification law.

After the law survived federal court challenges, the Indiana Court of Appeals struck it down because it does not require Hoosiers who vote through absentee ballots to provide identification, while those who vote at the polls are required to do so. Such unequal treatment is unconstitutional, the court ruled.

Until that ruling, most of the debate surrounded the argument that the identification requirements are onerous to the poor and to minorities, who are more likely to have difficulties assembling the required forms of identification – an argument the courts have thus far rejected. The reasoning about unequal status for absentee voters seemed to come as a surprise to both sides.

Gov. Mitch Daniels scoffed at the state Court of Appeals ruling, but the state Supreme Court may well uphold it. Meanwhile, state lawmakers will likely adopt language either this week or next year requiring ID for absentee voters.

Lawyers for the two sides will give their arguments and answer questions from the justices, who will likely take weeks or months to rule on the case.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the only still viable election bill this session is HB 1106, which is in conference committee, and it currently does not appear to contain language re identification for voters using absentee ballots.

For much more on Thursday's oral argument in League of Women Voters, et al. v. Todd Rokita, see today's ILB entry on "Upcoming Oral Arguments."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 1, 2010 08:53 AM
Posted to Upcoming Oral Arguments