Dan Tokaji's Blog
Professor Dan Tokaji
Election reform, the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act, and related topics -- with special attention to the voting rights of people of color, non-English proficient citizens, and people with disabilities

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Equal Vote
Tuesday, November 1
Indiana Photo ID Lawsuit
With all the attention that the Georgia photo ID law has gotten in the past few weeks, the similar law recently enacted by the Indiana legislature has largely escaped attention. But on Monday, the Indiana Democratic Party filed a motion for summary judgment challenging Senate Enrolled Act 483, which requires voters to show photo ID issued by the United States or the State of Indiana if they wish to have their votes counted. The Indiana Civil Liberties Union has a companion case, in which it's also filed a motion for summary judgment. The briefs and supporting documents in both cases may be found here on the EL@M website.

Under Indiana's new law, those who lack the requisite photo identification may cast a provisional ballot, but it will only be counted if the voter signs an affidavit certifying that they are 1) indigent, or 2) have a religious objection to being photographed. Those affidavits, moreover, won't be available at the polls but only at county boards of election offices after election day. How many voters are likely to run this gauntlet just to vote? You take a guess.

According to plaintiffs, there's very little evidence that Indiana voters have gone to the polls pretending to be someone they're not -- the only form of fraud that an ID requirement could even possibly address. At any rate, the legislature lacked such evidence at the time that it enacted this bill. The IDP makes claims based on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act, and the constitutional right to vote under the Fourteenth and First Amendments, arguing that the ID law imposes an unequal burden on the state's voters.

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Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University