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. ShirleyY - Seattle

    THIS IS HORRIBLE. IS THIS A SET UP FOR HILLARY TO WIN INDIANA. HOW SAD WE CAN'T HAVE AN HONEST AND FAIR ELECTION.

    April 28, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. Ilona Proud Canadian

    ARE you telling me that this is the first state to demand that voters show valid ID? Have people been voting without showing their valid ID? If so how do they know that the votes were valid? Would someone please respond to my comment?

    April 28, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. Monica

    This law has been around for a while (2005) (because I remember the BMV opening on their closed day in the past for people to come get id's before an election.) I am not sure if they are offering that next week though. Everyone in IN has known about this and it has been widely publicized on my news during every recent election (unless you are in la la land) so this should not be a problem. I suspect this is only in the national news because of the upcoming primary. But again, this law has been followed in the state since 2005.

    April 28, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. HAWK,TEXAS

    JUST ANOTHER WAY FOR THE REPUBLICANS TO STEAL ANOTHER ELECTION . IF MCCAIN IS ELECTED THEN YOU GET TWO MORE REPUBLICANS ON THE SUPREME COURT, THEN GOOD BY CIVIL RIGHTS.

    April 28, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. kelly WI

    WI dems won't let us have voter ID either. I just can't imagine why not.
    It couln't possibly be they still want more than one vote per person could it.? And out of state people etc.
    What a bunch of cheaters.
    Wright admitted Obama was just another pol. I thought he was supposed to be something different. Wright is helping McCain more and more each day. He's nuts. Keep it up Wright. Knowledge is power.
    The left stream media and Dean are having nervous breakdowns. Ha.
    McCain 08

    April 28, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. Tom Eyemdaman

    [Insert supreme being here] forbid you actually have to prove who you are to vote...

    Anyone who can legally vote should be able to do this without too much trouble. The only people you disenfranchise are the illegal aliens, convicted felons, underage (minors), and those people attempting to vote more than once.

    This should be a no-brainer.

    April 28, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. sandy

    after following the debates I am more sure now then before that Hilary Clinton is more like Bush just riding on a democratic ticket she can be evil and nasty and will try any thing she has made the democratic party look bad and I'm a female and would love to see a woman in office but a true woman, we do need a change we need somebody that is really for the people, regardless of income and statis not a person who has a point to prove, who believes this is personal.

    April 28, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. albo

    How the hell any body could vote without an identification ??

    ALBO

    April 28, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. An American

    Unfortunitely, we are not as free as we might want to think. We need ID to do our common daliy activities, such as writing checks, buying certain items [ tobacco, alcohol, ], and driving a vehicle just to mention a few. Therefore, it doesn't seem unreasonable to have an ID check to vote. After all how many of us do not have a picture ID?

    April 28, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. Theogracias

    No worries, Hillary says she has to leave in June anyway...to help her family back on the farm...you know...her down home values and all.

    April 28, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  11. q

    CNN can dish out the dirt but they can't take it in.

    April 28, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  12. Nancy

    If you want to get mad get mad at the Dems process of nominating someone.

    THIS HAS TO CHANGE. IF NOTHING ELSE IT SHOULD SHOW THE HEADS OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY THAT THIS IS NOT A WAY TO NOMINATE SOMEONE. IT SEEMS THE POWERS THAT BE IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY ARE UPSET AT THEIR OWN RULE, THEY ARE THE ONES THAT CAME UP THE STUPID RULE THAT YOU SPLIT THE DELEGATES. THE PEOPLE RUNNING DID NOT COME UP WITH THE IDEA. This would ALL be over and we would know who wins the nomination if it were like the GOP you win a state you get ALL delegates THEN BOTH PARTIES CAN GO AFTER THE OTHER, but instead they are telling one of them to drop out. THEY KNEW BACK WHEN BILL CLINTON RAN THE FIRST TIME THAT IT WAS NOT DECIDED TILL JUNE BUT THEY ARE REALLY PUSHING FOR HILLARY TO GET OUT NOW BECAUSE OF NEVATIVE ADVERTISING WHICH HAPPENS IN THIS PROCESS AND NOT JUST WITH DEMS BUT ALSO WITH THE GOP, MCCAIN WENT AFTER ROMNEY AND ROMNEY AFTER MCCAIN AND WHO REALLY BELIEVED ROMNEY WHEN HE BACKED MCCAIN? NOT ME, IT WAS JUST AN OBLIGATION TO THEIR PARTY. WHO IS GOING TO BELIEVE HILLARY IF SHE STEPS DOWN AND TELLS ALL OF US HOW GREAT OBAMA IS AND HE SHOULD BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT. I WON'T. AND WHO WILL BELIEVE OBAMA IF HE STEPS DOWN AND SAYS THE SAME ABOUT HILLARY? HIS SUPPORTERS WON'T. SO I WILL POINT MY FINGER TO THE HEADS OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. ALL THIS NEGATIVE ADVERTISING WOULD NOT BE GOING ON THIS LONG IF THEY GOT RID OF THIS RIDICLIOUS RULE OF SPLITTING DELEGATES.

    THIS MAY HAPPEN AGAIN DOWN THE LINE AND IT PROBABLY WILL. THEY NEED TO CHANGE THE NOMINATION PROCESS BEFORE IT HAPPENS. I DON'T KNOW IF WE CAN DO ANYTHING PROBABLY NOT THEY ONLY LIKE US WHEN IT IS ELECTION TIME BUT I FOR ONE DO NOT WANT TO SEE THIS HAPPEN AGAIN.

    April 28, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. T.D. from Indy

    This is actually not news in Indiana for this has been an issue for several years now, so I doubt it will make much of an impact on the presidential election. The unpopularity of this bill has been that is "supposedly" goes against lower-income people in the state who don't drive or have the money to pay for a driver's license, however the state does give out an ID card for free I believe, you just have to find enough pieces of identification to prove that you are who you are, before you get the card.

    In hindsight, this may not help Obama, but nothing has ever been proven that this actually affects anything, so this is only spectalation. The state gives away IDs to anyone who wants one all the way up to and on Election Day.

    April 28, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. all American

    Stop your complaining about I.D. You ack like it was planed to hurt moniritys and elderly. Most your seniors have state I.D. And you knew the election was comming,so why did't you get ready for it?
    I'm from Michigan and it was a proven fact that people cheat on voting. They vote for people that have been dead for ten years, People that live in homes and not mentaly able to vote. People that are laying in the hospital dieing and could care less about an election and it goes on and on. All I have to say is if Obama supporters are going to keep winning about everthing, that tells me you arn't so sure about your candidate being able to win. Maybe you should take a better look at him. As for Michigan loosing thier vote you could'nt be more wrong. The people of the state did not have a choice. i think the delegates should be taken away but not the vote of the people . I t is not a democracy when the vote of the people have been taken away. And please don't campare it to I.D. to vote. Thats as different as apples and oranges. So grow up and act like an adult.

    April 28, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. AllGrownsUp

    nothing crazy here. really, almost a non-story. when's CNN gonna get all 'growns up and all growns up' and give us REAL political material?

    April 28, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. ElySsha

    I don't see a problem, anyone driving, walking and a legal citizen should have a Picture I.D. anyway.

    April 28, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. stag

    dean April 28th, 2008 11:50 am ET

    Another push towards a mandated National ID. Pure evil

    This will become a common request from our armed government thug masters:

    Paper's Please!

    Wake up dean..it's called your Social Security number.

    April 28, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  18. Lawrence

    The People complaining really have nothing to complain about. This is perfectly reasonable and disenfrancises NO ONE!!! It does not take long to get a state ID. It took me less than 20 minutes to get mine here in PA.

    Do not have one? Go get one. Everyone should have ID on them anyway.

    April 28, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  19. youngharry

    This is an outrage. This decision has just disenfranchised hundreds of minorities, senior citizens who no longer drive and many poor people who don't own a car and therefore don't have driver's licenses.

    This is not Democracy. This is truly just another trick to depress the vote from minorities, senior citizens and poor people.

    Anyone who agrees with this decision better read the Constitution and understand how un-American they are in their beliefs.

    April 28, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. RochelleAnn

    Mike, who are you to say anyone needs to wait to be President. Maybe you should read the Constitution and see what the qualifications are. NO one, and I mean NO one could ever be ready to be President. I want to know what makes someone ready, please? No, really. I want to know.

    April 28, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  21. An American in Canada

    What is wrong with I.D. to prove you live in the state that you are voting in; most people have a drivers license or they can use a hydro or gas bill in their name with their I.D until official membership cards with a picture on it can be established in all states.

    After all that is the democratic way, one vote per citizen.......

    How many political supporters could easily flood the voting booths. There is nothing wrong with getting a picture taken of yourself when you go to register as a Republican a Democrat or an Independent.

    Especially for the General Elections, they only happen every four years and so that picture should be good for four years and could also cover all over elections in that state.... EXCELLENT IDEA!

    April 28, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  22. Rick in Oregon

    The comments on here are completely fascinating. Some people are so wrapped up in their candidate or hatred for the opposition, that they can't see things for what they are. The supposedly open, peaceful, uniting, educated, upscale Obama supporters actually write that Hillary is trying to get this to happen. They don't see that this is beneficial towards Obama. They just read something, see it as possibly negative and start playing the blame game. Rational thinking has gone completely out the window. It's always attack and tear down the opponent.

    April 28, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. Obama 08

    I believe the nominee will be whoever CNN wants. They are the one's who making the candidates look good one week and horrible the next. CNN must be on someone's payroll. I wonder will this be posted. hmmmmmmm

    April 28, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  24. Carol, WI

    Lisa April 28th, 2008 11:35 am ET
    "Well, should we the people have any doubt on who is really auditioning to run our country it is real clear politics, wright will be at the realm of america's choices so here's my challenge, cnn needs to stop with the glory of obama and start pulling our country back by the seams, and obama needs to drop out, and so does wright ( the nation os islam services are not needed in this united-states."

    Lisa,

    For the thousandth time, Barack Obama is NOT a Muslim! I am very confused on how people can derile Obama because of his Christian pastor, then also talk about Islam taking over the United States. If you need to go after religion, at least get your facts straight.

    I am disgusted with how uninformed people are these days (or how willing people are to ignore the facts). Instead of IDs required before voting, I propose people take a quiz about government before voting. I talked to a woman who said she was a Republican because she was Pro-Choice. That is about as misinformed as you can get.

    April 28, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. Clinton Spin

    California and Texas should have had this in place in the Primary season. Clinton would have really hated that given her support among Latino's and elderly.

    April 28, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
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