On April 28, the Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter ID law, which guards against supposed fraud by requiring voters to show identification. The decision came despite the fact that “the record contains no evidence of any such fraud actually occurring in Indiana at any time in its history” — and despite the fact the law tends to suppress voter turnout by minorities and poor people.
Commenting on the decision on last night’s “Bill Moyers Journal,” legal scholar Jeffery Toobin explained that the “real agenda” behind voter ID laws is “to help Republicans”:
I thought it was a bad decision, but a predictable one because it was a very clear attempt by Republicans to stop Democrats from voting. I don’t think there’s any doubt about what the motivation was of that law. … The real agenda was to help Republicans.
Though the Court’s majority claimed the impact was nothing more than a “minor inconvenience” to voters, in fact there are as many as 21 million voting-age Americans without driver’s licenses. Thirteen percent of registered Indiana voters lack the documents needed to obtain state identification.
During the recent Indiana primary, a group of 12 nuns were turned away from the polls because they lacked a valid photo ID. One nun in Missouri said, “This is going to keep a lot of our loved ones from being able to vote.”
Moreover, the new law disenfranchised many out-of-state students attending private Indiana colleges, such as Notre Dame and DePauw, because “ID cards issued by private colleges don’t qualify under the state law.”