April 28th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Blitzer: Court ruling could have huge impact at the polls

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/16/art.blitzeriowa.cnn.jpg caption=" Blitzer: Could the Supreme Court's ruling make a difference at the ballot box?."] WASHINGTON (CNN) - Just as many Democrats have been getting nervous about their presidential prospects in November against Republican John McCain, the U.S. Supreme Court issues a major ruling that potentially could have significant political fallout.

As you probably know by now, the Supreme Court ruled 6 to 3 that states can indeed require voters to produce photo identification in order to prevent voter fraud. “We cannot conclude that the statute imposes ‘excessively burdensome requirements’ on any class of voters,” Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in the majority opinion.

For years, many Republicans have strongly supported these requirements as a way to make sure that only eligible U.S. citizens actually get to vote. Many Democrats have opposed these statutes, arguing that they often deter minority, elderly and poor voters from showing up at the polls. Some of these voters simply don’t have appropriate government-issued photo identification. More than 20 states already have such requirements. Now, with this Supreme Court decision, other states no doubt will follow suit.

One state that already has such a photo identification requirement is Indiana, which holds its Democratic presidential primary on May 6.

With the Supreme Court ruling that these requirements are in fact Constitutional, will minorities, the elderly and the poor in Indiana be deterred from showing up that day to vote? Will either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama benefit from this? He has done better with African American voters; she has done better with Hispanic voters. He has often done better with poor voters; she has done better with elderly voters.

I suspect this Supreme Court decision will have marginal impact in the remaining Democratic primaries. It probably will have a lot more impact in November – not only in the general presidential election but in several Senate and House races as well as in many other state and local contests.

As the Associated Press noted in its report, this decision “was the most important voting rights case since the Bush v. Gore dispute that sealed the 2000 election for George W. Bush.”

Related: Watch Justice Correspondent Kelli Arena's analysis of the courts ruling

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (176 Responses)
  1. Steve

    Portland, OR,

    How does this disenfranchise some voters? Which voters? The ones who don't want to make the effort to get an i.d.? Or the illegal ones that Dems depend on?

    April 28, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Ryan

    b-liberal–do me a favor–stuff it.

    April 28, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. Ana in L.A.

    Photo ID- of course!!!!!!!! Only right.

    April 28, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. Jerry

    I'm a 71 year old voter and never have I been polled in my
    lifetime, Pleaseeeeeee someone, ask me to be polled!


    April 28, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. trellskig

    We get our wish! The evil Republicans can't switch back and will have to vote Dem...hahahahahhaha...YES!!!!!!!!!!

    April 28, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. Denis

    Voters should be required to produce valid identification if they intend to vote, period. This is the oly way to prevent voter fraud. I am a Democrat but if the Republican Party has been pushing for this I agree with them

    April 28, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. Toni

    Will this keep all the deceased Illinois Democrats from voting for Obama?

    April 28, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. fred

    Obama will never win!!! He doesn't have a prayer.


    April 28, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  9. ChrTh

    "unless you believe that the Democrats have been getting hundreds of thousands of ilegal votes"

    It's how Kennedy won in 1960.

    April 28, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. Kathy

    I see no impact at all..everyone should have an ID of some sort.

    Wolf you really have to stop all this silly spinning.

    April 28, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. RealityKing

    6 – 3

    i. e.., it's a no-brainer Wolfy.

    April 28, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  12. Tim from Florida

    Oh God if Clinton wins Indiana and does great in North Carolina then Obama supporters will say it was racist .The news media will say it was a cover-up and the black caucus in congress will say Clinton is trying to steal the election .Rev Wright will say that terrorist are on the supreme court.I say give it to McCain all we need is a bunch of Obama idiots running the country .

    April 28, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  13. 60 years old White Lady

    ZErick you said it right. I agree with you.

    April 28, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  14. Sam


    Please resist running Obama down this week. I follow you because you try to be fair. But you get drawn to whatever Clinton says very easily and it becomes the centre of your program each day. My request is simple: start from the facts and move in whatever direction you like. e.g. if you are addressing electability, start from who has received more official eligible votes to date...then you can talk about Ohio and Pa. I don't get it when you start pretending the only votes that count are the ones from the states that HRC has one. What's up with that? If we used electability in the manner that HRC defines it (and of late you) why do we have 48 states in the primaries? why don't we just the states that you've decided are important. I give you the benefit of the doubt and hope you were just taken by the HRC wave, but reality is reality, it's important that every analysis is done against the back-drop of existing reality. Don't pretend the electability arguments exists in a vacuum, it must be spoken of in the context of 50 states in the USA

    April 28, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. 60 years old White Lady

    Erick you said it right. I agree with you.

    April 28, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  16. Sharon Minnesota

    Erick, I can't believe how ridiculous you sound and I have no idea what CNN moderators are thinking by allowing you to take up so much room in this blog when you can't even stay on subject.



    April 28, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  17. Confused in Midwest

    I live in Wisconsin, and we do not show ID to vote. However, you do have to state your FULL name (including your middle name, no initials) and your address down to the apartment number. If you are a first time voter you have to bring an energy or a cable bill with your name and your current address. This is mostly because there are so many colleges and students want to vote on issues where they live 10 months out of the year. But because college students move every year, they are not going to waste their money getting a new ID with every address.
    I understand that if you are on a fixed income, $20 in a lot, but if the government demands something, they should give you a break if you are on Social Security.

    April 28, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. Rob, Indianapolis

    Uhhh... It won't have any affect here in Indiana because all of our elections have been running under this law for the past 2 years.

    The entire argument, on both sides, was based on the theoretical. Theoretically it'll prevent people from voting... but actually we haven't seen it yet. Theoritically it'll prevent voter fraud... but we didn't have anyone trying to pretend to be someone else to vote before...

    April 28, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. wake up America

    It’s America and It's 2008...somebody not having ID is ridiculous...

    April 28, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  20. Andriea-California

    No. Obama should not have accepted another debate. Enough is enough, I am sick of hearing Hillarys lies.
    The American people are tired of Hillarys continous attempt to confuses the issues, maybe being under sniper firer has really affected her .
    I am personally sick of Hillary and her same old Washington politics.
    Grow up Hillary get over it . Even better yet, go away.

    April 28, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. Kristal


    "She can get the job done without whining."

    Who are you kidding? You need to take another look. She is the whiniest of them all! Oh, that's right, she only "misspeaks"! Give me a break.

    You need to put things into perspective...the future of this country and the citizens need to come first! Hillary has no idea what that means...she is in it for herself and herself only. She proves it everytime she throws mud at Obama and anyone else. Did you forget about the White Water Scandal? What scandal has Obama been involved in? He speaks the truth and most of the US citizens can't handle the truth...which is sad for this country.

    April 28, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Deb

    Very well said Erick...no need to say more

    April 28, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. Lee WV


    April 28, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. Karen from Crownsville

    If a person can take the time to go vote or find a way to vote, than they can find a way to get a photo ID. Neither my mother nor grandmother had a drivers' license but they were able to obtain a photo ID at the Div. of Motor Vehicles. It depends on what your priorities are.

    April 28, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. Mike

    In other words, democrats need undocumented votes or illegal votes to win elections?

    April 28, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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