Whither voter photo ID?

Yesterday the U.S. House passed, 228-196, the Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006, H.R. 4844 (pdf, 64KB, 12p.), which requires any voter "in an election for Federal office" to provide photo identification. See also, accompanying committee report 109-666 (pdf, 420KB, 62p.).

This is a controversial issue. Common Cause, together with other national groups opposing this law, issued a statement on Sept. 19, "Rights leaders warn voters would lose franchise under proposed voter ID bill":
"Our election systems have many serious systemic problems, but people pretending to be someone else at the polls is not one of them," Common Cause President Chellie Pingree said. "Congress should focus on the real problems that have shaken Americans' confidence in voting, such as requiring a voter verified paper trail in case electronic voting machines malfunction, or assuring that polls have enough workers and voting machines so people don't have to wait in long lines on Election Day. We should be making voting more accessible, not putting up more hurdles."

In the past week, the New York Times has reported on photo ID laws being struck down in Missouri and Georgia.

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) provides a web page of State Requirements for Voter Identification, updated Aug. 1, 2006, listing 7 states that request photo ID: Florida, Georgia* (notes that law was enjoined by US District Court, July 2006), Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, and South Dakota.


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