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Voter Id Laws

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OPINION
August 12, 2012 | By Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom
Without a personal identification card issued by some level of government, you are a second-class citizen. You cannot board an airplane, ride an Amtrak train, buy a six-pack of beer or a pack of cigarettes, open a checking account, enter many public and some private office buildings or even attend an NAACP convention without proving that you are who you say you are. You cannot even qualify for means-tested public support programs such as Medicaid without...
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NATIONAL
January 17, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
A Pennsylvania judge struck down the key portion of the state's strict voter identification law, saying it unreasonably hinders people from exercising what is a fundamental right. In a 103-page ruling, Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard L. McGinley held that the law's requirement that the state's 8.2 million voters show photo identification before casting a ballot was unconstitutional. The law was passed by the GOP-controlled Legislature and signed in 2012 by Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, despite the protest of every Democrat lawmaker.
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NATIONAL
September 24, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
South Carolina took its fight for a voter identification law to a federal panel Monday, the latest state to do battle on one of the more crucial fronts of this year's elections: who gets to cast a ballot. The federal Justice Department turned thumbs down on the South Carolina law last year, saying it violated the Voting Rights Act, designed to protect access, particularly by minorities, to the polls. Closing arguments in the case were scheduled for Monday; the trial phase was in August.
NEWS
October 28, 2013 | By Michael McGough
Supporters of photo ID requirements for voters are fond of noting that the Supreme Court upheld Indiana's ID law in a 2007 decision written by the then-dean of the court's liberal wing, Justice John Paul Stevens. Now critics of voter ID laws, who portray them as an attempt to suppress the votes of racial minorities and other Democratic-leaning groups, have a comeback. In a new book, the famously prolific Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago writes that “I plead guilty to having written the majority opinion (affirmed by the Supreme Court)
NATIONAL
October 8, 2012 | By David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Earlier this year, voting rights advocates foresaw a cloud over this year's election because new voting laws in Republican-led states tightened the rules for casting ballots and reduced the time for early voting. But with the election less than a month away, it's now clear those laws will have little impact. A series of rulings has blocked or weakened the laws as judges - both Republicans and Democrats - stopped measures that threatened to bar legally registered voters from polling places in the November election.
OPINION
September 28, 2006 | PATT MORRISON
EARLY ON election day last June, someone broke into a poll worker's garage in the Central Valley town of Sanger and stole 1,000 blank ballots and two voting machines. Sinister, no? Florida 2000! Ohio 2004! Turns out the guy they arrested was just some 20-year-old who'd been busted before -- for penny-ante stuff like underage smoking. Maybe he figured he could fence the machines at a swap meet. Anyway, stealing elections by stealing voting equipment is so '90s.
OPINION
September 28, 2007 | Daniel P. Tokaji, Daniel P. Tokaji is a law professor at Ohio State University, where he teaches election law.
The U.S. Supreme Court announced this week that it would hear a challenge to an Indiana law that requires people to show government-issued photo identification in order to have their votes counted. Two other states have passed such laws in recent years, and others have debated the issue. Promoters of these laws argue that they are needed to prevent fraud.
NATIONAL
September 26, 2007 | David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to decide whether states can require voters to show government-issued photo identification before they cast a ballot. The justices' ruling, due by the end of June, could have a major effect on the 2008 presidential election and on congressional races in several states. New photo ID laws in Indiana, Georgia and Arizona have been upheld in the last year, while a Missouri law was blocked from taking effect.
NATIONAL
April 29, 2008 | David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
The Supreme Court opened the door Monday to state laws that require voters to show a photo identification before casting a ballot on election day. The ruling is a clear victory for Republicans, who have pushed for such laws to combat election fraud, and comes over the objections of Democrats, who say the requirements make it too hard for some people to vote.
NATIONAL
January 10, 2008 | David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
For a second time this week, a liberal challenge to a disputed state law floundered in the Supreme Court because lawyers could not show hard evidence that anyone had been harmed by the statute. At issue Wednesday was Indiana's election law, the strictest in the nation, which requires voters to show an official photo identification, such as a driver's license or a passport, before casting a ballot.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 27, 2013 | By Seema Mehta
Reacting to a Supreme Court ruling that struck down part of the Voting Rights Act, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution Tuesday urging federal leaders to pass legislation to update the act so that it protects voters from disenfranchisement and passes Constitutional muster. “We want to keep democracy vibrant and make sure all those who wish to participate and have a right to participate not be denied” the ability to vote, said board chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas, who sponsored the motion along with Supervisor Gloria Molina.
NATIONAL
June 17, 2013 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court agreed with the Obama administration Monday in yet another of its confrontations with Arizona, striking down a state law on voter registrations and ruling that states may not require new applicants to show proof of their citizenship. In a surprisingly lopsided 7-2 decision, the justices said the federal Motor Voter Act and its simple registration form sets the national standard for signing up new voters, and states are not free to add extra qualifications.
NEWS
December 19, 2012 | By Danielle Ryan
WASHINGTON - Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee debated the necessity of voter ID laws and early-voting restrictions Wednesday, with Democrats accusing Republicans of aiming to suppress the votes of African Americans and Latinos. The hearing followed incidents in which many voters, in Florida in particular, stood in line for hours to cast their ballots in November's presidential election, with some eventually giving up. Democrats on the panel of witnesses said some of the current voting policies around the country disproportionately affect African Americans, Latinos, seniors and the working poor.
NATIONAL
November 1, 2012 | By Joseph Tanfani, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - When elections officials in Palm Beach County, Fla., checked out a form indicating that Carlos Ferrer, 36, wanted a new voter ID, they knew something was wrong. Ferrer is 43, and, instead of his home, the form listed his address as the Land Rover dealership where he works. Ferrer didn't fill out the form. It was one of the suspicious registrations linked to a voter turnout campaign financed by the Republican National Committee, an operation that has spawned criminal investigations in Florida and elsewhere.
NATIONAL
October 8, 2012 | By David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Earlier this year, voting rights advocates foresaw a cloud over this year's election because new voting laws in Republican-led states tightened the rules for casting ballots and reduced the time for early voting. But with the election less than a month away, it's now clear those laws will have little impact. A series of rulings has blocked or weakened the laws as judges - both Republicans and Democrats - stopped measures that threatened to bar legally registered voters from polling places in the November election.
NEWS
October 2, 2012 | By David G. Savage
A state judge has blocked Pennsylvania's new photo ID requirement from being enforced in the November election, ruling state officials failed to assure that all the eligible and registered voters would have the needed identification. The decision did not strike down the photo ID law, but puts it on hold until the next election. However, state officials can appeal to the state Supreme Court. The ruling is a victory for civil rights advocates who said the newly required photo ID could prevent tens of thousands of older and minority voters from casting a ballot this year.  While the vast majority of Pennsylvanians can use their drivers license as a valid identification, several hundred thousand registered voters who do not drive did not have an acceptable ID card under the terms of the state's strict law. “We are very glad voters will not be turned away from the polls this November if they do not have an ID,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis.
NATIONAL
July 19, 2007 | From the Associated Press
A state law requiring voters to show photo identification or swear to their identity is constitutional, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. The court's five Republicans voted to uphold the law, while two Democrats dissented. The issue has fiercely divided Democrats and Republicans for a decade. The law was passed in 1996 and renewed in 2005, but it never took effect because then-Atty. Gen.
NATIONAL
October 21, 2006 | David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
The Supreme Court cleared the way Friday for Arizona to enforce a new rule for next month's election that requires most voters to show proof of identification before casting a ballot. In an unsigned and apparently unanimous opinion, the justices reversed a ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco that had blocked the Arizona law from taking effect this year. The justices emphasized that they were not ruling on the still-pending constitutional challenge to the law.
OPINION
October 2, 2012
Re "Suspicious voter forms easily traced in Florida," Sept. 30 How ironic that the party responsible for removing many barriers to voting used in the South after Reconstruction to prevent poor African Americans and poor whites from voting is resurrecting them in the form of voter ID laws, again to disenfranchise African Americans, the poor and the elderly, whom the GOP presumes vote mostly for Democrats. The cost of providing certified copies of birth certificates or naturalization papers, passports, driver's licenses or other form of identification will be a burden to many of these citizens.
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