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
Monday, November 28
Voter ID News
Voter ID laws continue to be the hottest issue in election administration. The Brennan Center for Justice has assembled the following compendium of news stories on voter identification in the past week (some may require registration):
Editorial in Athens-Banner Herald (GA) urges legislators to make ID free and available through local state governments, because doing so would "remove all reasonable arguments against requiring a photo ID at the polls.": "Minor changes to voter ID law may be prudent," Editorial Board, Athens Banner Herald, 11/22/05

Op-ed by photo ID legislation backer reframes requirement as an anti-fraud measure that will not chill voter turnout: "Nothing in this law will block blacks," Cecil Stanton, Atlanta Journal Constitution, 11/23/05

Article reports that former Michigan Attorney General stands behind his 1997 opinion calling photo ID requirements unconstitutional: "Former AG says requiring ID hurts vote rights," Kathy Barks Hoffman, Associated Press, in Lansing State Journal, 11/24/05

Sue Burmeister, Georgia photo ID law backer who accused African-Americans in her district of only voting when paid to do so, is asked to step-down from House leadership position: "Voter ID sponsor asked to step down, " Sonji Jacobs, Atlanta Journal Constitution, 11/24/05

Article on Indiana's new voter registration database reports that the database will allow poll workers to verify signatures from cards with signatures at the polls, and in the same breath trumpets photo ID as a means of verifying identities at the polls: "No more than one voter per person, please," Theophilus Hawkins Jr., Aurora Journal Press, 11/23/05

DOJ attorney's oped defends pre-clearance decision of Georgia photo ID law: "Voter ID bill not an obstacle for minorities," Bradley Schlozman, Atlanta Journal Constitution, 11/25/05

Arizona's new ID rule disenfranchises thousands with older licenses: "Thousands with older driver's license could cause voting snafu," pulled from the Arizona Republic, Tucson Citizen, 11/25/05

Editorial opposes town's photo ID requirement: "To ID or not to ID," Editorial Board, Baltimore Sun, 11/25/05

Article reports on New Hampshire GOP's legislative agenda. Includes photo ID requirement for EDR registrants: "Gatsas lays out GOP agenda," unattributed, Portsmouth Herald, 11/26/05

Article reports that both Democratic candidates for CA secretary of state have come out against photo ID: "Democrats may face off against each other," Michael Gardner, Copley News Service, 11/26/05

Article reports on growing tensions surrounding undocumented immigrants, mentions voter identification: "Policies on Illegal Immigrants at Odds," Anna Gorman and Jennifer Delson, LA Times, 11/27/05
The good news here is that it's becoming apparent that boosters of strict photo ID laws are on the defensive, in the wake of the recent federal court decision putting a halt to Georgia's ID law, and the absence of evidence to support the conclusion that they're necessary -- or even helpful -- when it comes to stopping fraud.

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