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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

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Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Friday, September 18, 2009

Indiana Voter ID Law Struck Down

From Ballot Access News:

On September 17, the Indiana State Court of Appeals struck down the 2005 law that requires voters at the polls to show government photo-ID with an expiration date. The vote was 3-0. Here is the 29-page decision. The case is League of Women Voters of Indiana v Rokita, 49A02-0901-cv-40.

The basis for the decision is the Indiana Constitution, which says “The General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities which upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.” The Court found that the voter ID law violates that equal protection clause in two ways: (1) absentee voters don’t need to prove their identity, so the law discriminates against voters who vote at the polls; (2) the law gives an exemption to voters who live in a state licensed care facility when that licensed care facility is the location of the polling place for that precinct, so those voters are being treated better than voters who don’t happen to live in the building that houses the polling place.

It is considered inevitable that the Indiana Secretary of State will appeal to the State Supreme Court. This decision, if it survives, is a good model for the... North Carolina ballot access case, now pending in North Carolina’s State Court of Appeals. Both cases are similar in that federal courts had already upheld the challenged regulations, and the plaintiffs are depending on greater protections found in State Constitutions than in the U.S. Constitution.

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