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. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    The big impact will be that non citizens will not be voting and the dead willnot be voting as long as we require ID to vote by absentee ballot also. You cannot even open a bank accoutn or go into a federal building with out an ID. The court got this one right just as they got it right preventing a state supreme court form picking our President.

    April 28, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. duane D

    Everybody should have an ID.....Hillary stay in the race...I love to hear your spin after defeat in ID, NC

    OBAMA 08'

    April 28, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. Anna, IL

    I must add to my above post that this is yet another example of the main-stream-media being completely out-of-touch with reality. This elections' biggest loser are you people in the media. You have shown to be truly out-of-touch with reality and are the true elitists playing the armchair "analysts" who spin stories to no end. I'm thoroughly disgusted and outraged. Your comments section is the best example this – Pick and choose comments to support your headlines, and then close them when you've accomplished your agenda.

    April 28, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  4. Susan

    Indiana has made every provision necessary for Indiana voters to cast their ballots. You and other media personnel need a story; so, you make this decision appear to disenfranchise voters........come visit during election time........we simply want those who vote to verify who they are....how simple do we have to make this for people like you!

    April 28, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  5. gerald strother

    Thirty-four percent (34%) of Democrats nationwide now believe that Hillary Clinton should drop out of the race for the White House. That’s up from 32% earlier in April and 22% in late March. do the math it is over for cliniton uless the wil of the people if over turn then what has she won??????????????

    April 28, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  6. Keith

    It goes back to Gore/Bush 2000. Democrats tried to cheat then and Clinton Tries to cheat now. Of course Democrats would never admit that and it is just easier to claim a conspiracy. There 8 years of trying tio demonize Bush and thwart his ability to govern at every turn is borderline treasonous. Thanks to GWB we have have been kept safe from another attack since 9/11. IF a Democrat is elected in November, who will they blame then. I just hope somebody is left to blame.

    April 28, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  7. EDW

    Jim, if you can't spell mandatory correctly then please save your Nazi comments. If you are a legal citizen of this United States then you should have simple photo identification. If you drove to the voting booth then you should have a drivers license. Even the elderly have senior citizen identification. This should be LAW – deal with it people.

    April 28, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. Kristina

    This is information that the American people NEED to know; this is VITAL to ALL voters. The Clintons are scandalous. There is a case pending RIGHT NOW in CA, it’s a real, legit case Peter Paul vs Clinton. For the skeptics, the case number is : BC304174

    April 28, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  9. patty

    I have to show my driver's license to vote in Florida. Oh, excuse me, I forgot we don't count as a state anymore. So why did I vote????

    April 28, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  10. D-mo-Crat

    b-liberal, you are an idiot!

    April 28, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  11. Hillary/08

    George R, you must be the exception to the Obama supporters.

    April 28, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  12. satish

    Its the government job to know who the voters are, so that people can come to the booth and be verified. We prove our identify on phone with simple questions, can we do the same for voting. I think it is unfair if voters need id to show their existence.

    April 28, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  13. shirley

    No one should dispute this, only citizens of the US should have a vote. Those that are not citizens are visitors.

    April 28, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  14. marie Ivy

    I think that you should have to show some sort of Identification when voting. Why not you have to show ID for a lot of reasons in the US. I also want to comment on the Rev. Wright and his conference today. When he said that the reason Obama made the comment about Rev Wright and what he said was because he was making a political comment because he is running for president and he had to make that comment leaves me to believe that he wasn't sincere when he said that he does not agree with Rev Wright that he only said it because that is what the american people want to hear. So what else has he said that he really does not mean. What about all the promises he has made are they really going to be carried out or are they also false. I feel that the american people are not attacking the black church they were questioning his statement. I know I was and still am. He is skating over the real issue which was his statements. I have been to a black church and it was not like his church. That is unfair to say that all black churches have those same beliefs.

    April 28, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  15. RoRo

    Photo_ID is not the problem. How about birth certificate?? that will definietly prove citizenship. Legal immigrants like foreign students get Photo_IDs in order to live here.

    What is improtant, is making Voting a Legal Right and not a Legal Act which every now and then needs to be voted on at the Capitol.

    April 28, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  16. Nanc, MN

    I agree with the need for ID, but this impacts many elderly or disabled voters. Yes, you need to provided ID for SS benefits, but after the initial approval it's not reqiured again. Many elderly people let their Driver's License lapse, and in small rural communities there's rarely a need to go out and get a state ID card.

    April 28, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  17. Edward

    The only reason Hilary is still able to run is becuase she's a Clinton. Her attack adds are sinking to a new low and she's offending alot of people trying to damage Obama's electability. As a result of the political games Hillary is playing, she has offended Rev. Wright's legacy and the Nations black church community.

    April 28, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  18. Kevin

    So if an 85 year old WW 2 veteran shows up to vote and does not have his ID . We are going to make him travel to some downtown office within 10 days. Their name has to be on the electoral role. Lets get real. every day ID gets lost, stolen, misplaced.
    This is just another Republican trick so that George W can become the second worst president we have ever had! When John McCain replaces him as the worst!

    April 28, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  19. June W

    Having photo ID is hardly what should make you eligible to vote. However, I guess it is a way of stopping some Americans from voting.
    Hmmm...Now I wonder what candidate this will benefit? Any guesses?

    April 28, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  20. small town gal

    Georeg R. if you want an anti American , lier. Ithen vote for Obama. Hillary won't have to steal the election, if you have mind enough to read, then you will see that Hillary is the only one who can beat John Mcain. The choice is simple Hillary or Mcain. Obama doesn't relate to the average person. Hillary will beat him.

    April 28, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  21. Alan Boyer

    Just another way to stop blacks from voting. Be here before!

    April 28, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  22. Question

    Who is PETER PAUL??

    April 28, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  23. john

    I find it amazing that Hillary supporters can accuse another candidate of whining. I'm just about to cynic right back out of politics. If Clinton gets the nomination we're right back to the lesser of two evils. While our jobs, economy, and our young men in the service go down the American public are acting like children. Belly up to the National Enquirer politics of the United States.

    April 28, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  24. barry glickson

    Where is all the gas tax money, billions being spent now?? should be on roads and bridges!

    Why do we need to raise more yaxes and money??

    first soultion by our elected reps, is to raise taxes!! nobaody in the news media aks where the BILLIONS are now bering spent and why we do not have enough money when every year billions are collected.

    April 28, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  25. Tom

    Why isn't there more analysis to try and understand why Obama is winning 90% of the African-American Vote?

    April 28, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
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