Legal challenges to photo ID

  • Updated: March 17, 2012 - 6:30 PM

Wisconsin: ID law blocked for violating state constitution in two separate courts this month. State will appeal. Other suits pending. (One judge who ruled against ID signed recall petition against Gov. Scott Walker.)

Texas and South Carolina: U.S. Department of Justice under Obama administration blocked ID as discriminatory under 1965 Voting Rights Act, which requires Southern states to seek federal approval before changing voting laws; states appealing.

Missouri: State Supreme Court declared ID law unconstitutional in 2006; Republican-controlled Legislature submitted proposed constitutional amendment to voters in November; amendment language subject of suit.

Indiana: Law upheld in 2008 by U.S. Supreme Court and in effect; Secretary of State Charlie White (supporter of ID) convicted of election fraud this year and lost office.

Georgia: U.S. Department of Justice Under Bush administration upheld ID law as nondiscriminatory under 1965 Voting Rights Act; court challenge failed; law in effect.

Recent legislative actions on photo ID since Republican legislative victories of 2010:

2011: New ID laws passed in Kansas, Mississippi (via referendum), Rhode Island and Wisconsin, and existing ID laws tightened in Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Democratic governors vetoed ID bills in Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire and North Carolina.

2012: Pennsylvania governor signed photo ID into law, and Virginia governor is considering it. ID legislation was discussed in 32 states so far, including new voter ID proposals and bills strengthening existing laws. Minnesota's Republican-controlled Legislature expected to pass proposed constitutional amendment, putting the issue to voters in November.

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