WEDNESDAY: Voter ID Election Law at Supreme Court
Contact: Jim Gavin
(Washington D.C.) This week, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments regarding Indiana's voter ID law, which could lead to a decision that impacts the 2008 election cycle. Currently, 24 states require every voter to provide identification before casting a ballot and seven of these states require photo identification.
Counsel for the two consolidated cases, Indiana Democratic Party v. Todd Rokita and Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, will present oral arguments on Wednesday, January 9 at 10:00 a.m.
"This case is about accuracy – are we going to demand accuracy through integrity in our election process? The answer from the American people continues to be an overwhelming 'yes'," stated Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita, the named respondent in the case.
"The law is a common sense, low-cost requirement that improves accuracy and provides protection against election fraud. In turn, the law provides confidence in the system for voters and taxpayers," he added.
Indiana’s Voter ID law has become the focus of a national debate after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and the federal Southern District Court of Indiana upheld the constitutionality of the law. Opponents claim that no proof exists of in-person vote fraud and cite voter disenfranchisement as a reason the Court should strike the law.
"In-person fraud, or identity theft – which is what this is, occurs in all facets of our lives. Unfortunately, the fastest growing crime in the nation does not stop at the polling booth," stated Sec. Rokita.
"We’ve worked hard to provide voter protection, yet increase turnout," Sec. Rokita said. "The law provides free IDs to the public, and statistics show that more Hoosiers voted in every population segment after Indiana implemented the law. It is no coincidence that the petitioner could not produce even one person that the law disenfranchised."
Opponents also claim the law creates a partisan divide.
"Over 80% of the nation approves of the law – that hardly makes it a partisan issue," stated Sec. Rokita. "I am proud that this has been a bipartisan effort from the start. Leaders from Jimmy Carter to James Baker have called for this very reform."
Secretary of State Todd Rokita will be making a statement from the U.S. Supreme Court steps after the oral arguments on Wednesday at approximately 11:30 a.m. (EST). The statement will be released in written form later in the day, approximately 1:00 p.m. (EST). Background information can be viewed here. To schedule an interview, please contact Allison Fore at the number above..