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Photo ID's and Voting

All elections are important, but some say this may be the most important election facing America since 1960. There is a clear distinction between the President of the United States and the Republican nominee for that high office. A new wrinkle has entered this year's political debate: the requirement of photo id' s before voting.

Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan and South Dakota, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures have enacted some form of voter identification laws that require or request certain forms of photo identification from voters as a prerequisite to cast their ballots. Pennsylvania Voter ID Law has been literally contested in the Court and will not be enforced during the November election, its future is uncertain. Some of the states above mentioned are more strict than others.

The law makers in the seven states that have enacted the Voter Identification Laws contend that their efforts are intended to prevent fraud at the poll s. Of course, one of the underlying issues, these state law makers insist, is illegal immigration.

Critics of these Voter ID Laws say that they arc intended to disenfranchise or prevent low income voters who may not have proper identification and the elderly who don't drive and a driver's license is the most common form of a photo identification. To counter that criticism, many of the states who have enacted these laws have offered exemptions for people who can't obtain identification as critics point out that the process of obtaining a photo id is often very burdensome. The result, the critics say, is that many potential legal voters who lack photo id's may simply decide not to vote rather than to deal with the problems and burdens of obtaining a photo id. They also suggest that much of the alleged voter fraud that these laws are supposed to protect against is anecdotal. One of the states, Indiana, has no recorded cases of anyone committing voter fraud in person at the polls.

There have been numerous legal challenges to the Voter ID Laws according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In 2008, the United States Supreme Court upheld the Indian law and Michigan's law was upheld by the Michigan Supreme Court in 2007. After Georgia's law suffered an injunction that was upheld by the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals in 2006, a federal judge reinstated the law in 2007. In Missouri the State Supreme Court struck down the Photo Voter ID Law in 2006 and even though Missouri still requires identification, the acceptable forms of id are now broader and include forms without a photograph.

Though the critics and the proponents of the law vigorously argue their respective positions, it is incumbent upon us as the true deciders of the direction of the country to make sure we are able to vote in our particular jurisdiction.

If you have a question as to whether you may have your right to vote challenged, don't hesitate to contact our offices, because we're here to help you with all of your legal problems.

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Davis & Davis Attorneys at Law

Davis & Davis Attorneys At Law