April 28th, 2008
10:15 AM ET
12 years ago

Indiana voter ID law ruled constitutional

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Supreme Court on Monday backed Indiana's law requiring voters to show photo identification, despite concerns thousands of elderly, poor, and minority voters could be locked out of their right to cast ballots.

The 6-3 vote allows Indiana to require the identification when it holds its statewide primary next month.

At issue is whether state laws designed to stem voter fraud end up disenfranchising large groups of Americans who might lack proper documents to prove they are eligible to vote.

The justices wrestled with a balancing test of sorts to ensure both state and individual voter interests were addressed, in what has become a highly partisan legal and political fight.


Filed under: Indiana
soundoff (190 Responses)
  1. Larry

    Is this a national identity card, or one to prove you ar a resident of the state in which you are voting?

    April 28, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. Chalermpol

    Obama is not ready yet. You can wait 8 more years, please understand!!

    April 28, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Mike

    This will avoid fraud and good for Democracy.

    More Clinton supporters are genuine and it will help to listen their voices.

    April 28, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. stag

    CNN didn't like my blacks and muslim post...probably afraid of Jihad against CNN.

    April 28, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. Roberson

    Hillary Clinton continues to emphasize that she received more votes than Obama in PA and other states. Please have her supporters address the fact that a portion of her votes came from republicans. The republicans have admitted voting for her and plans for doing so in future primaries. With this knowledge, how can she count on these votes in November? It appears that Hillary is running on the republican ticket and not for the Democratic Party. Why does she need another one on one debate? She has already had a three on one debate concerning trivial issues recently.
    Our country is still in denial. The media and some of the general public still do not get the Rev. Wright's message. The unbiased, intelligent individuals who have listened to his complete messages can interpret for themselves. The messages I heard were doing what is fair and just.

    April 28, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. gary

    INDIANA VOTE HRC. SHE IS OUR ONLY PRAYER FOR CHANGES WE NEED. O.B. IS A SMOOTH CON MAN. AS SOON AS AMERICA ADMITTS THIS IS A RACIST RACE AND GETS RID OF THE PROBLEM O.B. WE WONT HAVE A PEACEFULL COUNTRY. HE HAS BROUGHT HIS CHANGE OF HATE, DIVISION AND RACIST. WE DONT NEED HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF AGAIN. THIS TIME IT WILL BE WORST THAN LAST TIME. O.B. SUPPORTERS ARE THE WORST HATERS IN THE WORLD. THEY BRING RACIST WORST. IVE EVEN GOT TICKED OFF AT THE AFRICAN AMERICAN'S. TELLING AMERICA THEY WERE THE BACKBONE OF THIS COUNTRY WHEN THEY WERE SLAVES, SWEATING AND BUILDING THE COUNTRY THE WAY IT IS. DONT FORGET MY NATIONALITY WERE THE FIRST REAL BUILDERS AND THATS THE NATIVE AMERICANS. DONT THINK YOU BLACKS HAD IT SO BAD. WE WERE PEACEFULL UNTILL WHITES, BLACKS ETC. DISTROYED OUR LIVES. GIVE ME A BREAK. AMERICA OWES YOU NOTHING . IF ANYTHING THEY OWN MY PEOPLE. GO HRC.

    April 28, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. Disenfranchise?

    Disenfranchise?

    Every illegal vote cast cancels out a legitimate one. So truthful.

    April 28, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. Simon

    Hey! I have a legal, picture ID in Michigan – since I wasn't given my right to vote here, can I just vote in Indiana?

    April 28, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. clement adu-larbi

    After watching Obama Ex-pastor last night and this morning it's look like the media brought all this fire into the Democratic Contest.

    April 28, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. paul oregon

    from what i read this was already a law the supreme court just said it was constitutional for the state to ask for i d which is a good idea in a electon. people just amaze me !!! and they have the right to vote do most know what they are voting for?????????
    how any one can listons to the clintons lies the nafta deals and lose there jobs and still vote for them?????. avote for billary is a sure vote ror mcbush.

    April 28, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. Monica

    If I am not mistaken, in Indiana you can get a photo i.d. at the bmv. It is not a liscence but just an i.d that works for voting. I would have to look it up for sure and I don't think it is very expensive. I am glad they wrote this law and it was upheld. We as a state need to make sure that people voting are eligible.

    April 28, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. Amilia

    I'm a minority and this is a good idea. What's the problem, if you are American, you should have a valid id. I don't get it. You can get a valid dd from now until next Tuesday, if not, for November.

    April 28, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. Mel

    I don't know about all the other states people may be living in, but state law in IA actually makes it a little difficult to get a photo ID. You need your birth certificate, and other ID proving your address, etc. Also, DMV offices are open during regular business hours, and not everyone has the kind of flexibility in their schedule, or the transportation, etc, to be able to go to the appropriate office during that time frame. There are subtle ways to keep people who are poorer, ie with less options, from voting. In the South, not so long ago, these types of rules were used to keep black voters from accessing the polls. I am not saying that this is the intent of IN's law, but it isn't crazy to take a look at impact on real-life voters, either.

    April 28, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  14. mary

    As Senator of Illinois, Obama should be helping to fight the crime and murders taken place in Chicago. If he can't help out his own state how is he going to take care of the problems of the nation?

    April 28, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  15. James

    Carlos from Illinois – she did and it is a well known fact when she was in her teens and early 20's.

    nausea – They can still strong arm voters at the polls though! Yes, as a black man voting in my primary I was confronted by 4 Obama supporters who berated and insulted me spewing hatred when I told them I was not voting for their candidate. It was then I truly learned what Obama's campaign stands for.

    Nausea comments – Now this is real news and should be all over cable and the networks.

    CNN I challenge you to get it out there for everybody not just these blogger's. I have heard of this repeatedly throughout the race but little by you.

    April 28, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. Monica

    okay, I went and looked this up today. It is free for an ID card for voting purposes, just have to go to the BMV and show documentation. Not such a big deal.

    April 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  17. Tim in Canada

    Barb Canada

    Why do you hate Obama? Are you a racist? You shouldn't judge a book by looking at it's cover, but then you are a small-minded person.

    April 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. Amanda, Portland

    Oh, let's not waste precious time talking about Hillary. Her candidacy is a joke, and Barack should not lower himself to think about what SHE wants. It's all about Hillary, Hillary, Hillary. Who cares about her. Barack should not join Hillary on her Titantic voyage. He should just focus on the NC, and IN voters talking about the real issues, not Hillary games.

    Obama 08

    April 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  19. Randy - Denver

    Actually Theresa it was Hillary who was handing out money in Philly not Obama, they call it "street money" there, he did not use it, she did.. now which campaign is handing out money?

    April 28, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. Chanelle

    How is this even under debate? I always thought it was the law everywhere already. How in the world can any voting system be legal that doesn't require a person to prove that 1) they are a citizen of both the US, and that state in particular, 2) that they are voting ONLY in their home precinct and 3) that they are eligible to vote at all?

    Its very sad that this was ever even argued against. Everyone should be made to show a photo ID (I think it should be required to be a state issued photo ID) and proof of address.

    This issue is not racist, sexist, or ageist (is that even a word?). All it is doing is asking that you show that you are who you say you are and that you have the right to vote before actually doing so. How in the world can that be considered discriminatory?

    April 28, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  21. LB

    There is very little (if any) evidence that voter fraud is a problem. This is yet another effort by Republicans to disenfranchise those who most likely will vote Democratic. $20 for an id is a lot for the working poor and the elderly who live on social security and have to count their pennies.

    April 28, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  22. Paul

    Who the hell doesn't have a photo ID? You need a photo ID to write checks, have a bank account, buy alchohol, drive, etc. Any adult over the age of 18 that does not have a photo ID should not be allowed to vote period. They are unfit.

    April 28, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  23. Matt

    No offense, but I can't take my chemistry midterm exam without a photo ID. So having to have one for something as trivial as that is acceptable, but not to identify oneself to vote? It's not that hard to acquire a photo ID. It's called a driver's license.

    April 28, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. IAMWMD

    The Clinton supporter have 2 major things in common with their candidate: 1. Lack of Intelligence and/or Common Sense 2. Liars Disease and/or Dishonesty

    This is not Pakistan or some country where elections are stolen except in Floria. If you guys want to steal elections move to Florida or join the Republican Party.

    If it's alright for Clinton to steal the nomination, it should be all right for Obama supporters to pull a coup and give the Presidency to the man that is winning it honestly and is truely the voter's choice.

    Hillary can't and will not win without causing a coup and the destruction of the Democratic party. Enough with the fuzzy math. The numbers aren't in her favor.

    If you wouldn't want this dishonest woman counting your money, why would you vote for her

    Get over it, the Clinton Regime is coming to an end

    Obama 08

    April 28, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. matt

    So if you know how to read, you would be happy that this is definately a good thing for Obama.

    Some of the old crowd doesnt have a picture id anymore, no drivers liscense, no Id because no need.

    THis will definately hurt CLinton

    April 28, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
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