Voter ID

I Guess I Can't Use This to Buy Beer, Either


Once you've finished reading Kerry Howley's piece and have worked up a sufficient mistrust of ID laws, check out this story from Indiana. Rep. Julia Carson, a black Democrat from Indianapolis, had trouble voting in today's primaries because the state's new voter ID card law didn't recognize her congressional ID.

Carson's card does not have an expiration date as the new law requires of valid voter IDs, and Indianapolis poll workers tried to reach election officials before allowing the five-term Democratic congresswoman to cast her ballot shortly after her polling place opened at 6 a.m.

"The inspector just went ahead and made the decision that it was OK because he couldn't reach anybody to get authorization," Carson said later. And she reasoned the expiration date should not have been an issue: "It says for the 109th Congress, so that takes care of that."

Requiring photo IDs for voters is a highly contentious issue that doesn't often bubble over into the mainstream media. Mostly Republican legislators have pushed it to cut down on "voter fraud" (scare quotes because the instances of fraud don't often make sense or exist), and mostly Democratic legislators have opposed it because, well, they like to win. The former governor of Wisconsin, Scott McCallum, has repeatedly claimed that Democratic fraud stole the state from him in 2002 and from George W. Bush in 2004. You can argue that this is the Bizzaro version of Democrats claiming Diebold stole the election for Bush—but then you'd have to ask why our election system is so much faultier than our banking system, our online shopping systems, our Costco reward cards system …