by Locker Room contributor
What is the first thing any state should do to eliminate election
fraud? Here is a groundbreaking theory: Require that voters show
a reliable ID to prove their identity prior to casting a ballot.
The usual argument against this idea is: Requiring a government-issued ID amounts to a poll tax.
A Georgia district court judge bought this argument last year and
threw out a Georgia law that would require showing a government-issued
ID prior to voting.
Here is the “funny” thing: This same judge, as reported, just threw the law out again, even though the Georgia legislature actually passed a law to make the IDs free!
This still wasn’t good enough.
First, even if it costs money, an ID requirement isn’t a poll tax. A poll tax is assessed directly on citizens for the right to vote.
This is a bit different than asking individuals, for legitimate and
compelling reasons, to show an ID.
If the government
created some requirement that an ID had to be purchased and only could
be used for voting, then maybe this would be an end run around the
prohibition on poll taxes. Instead, the government simply wants
an individual to show an ID, which is purchased for non-voting reasons,
so that the
government can prevent election fraud (not to mention illegal
immigrants from voting).
Of course, now in Georgia, the IDs are free. I haven’t seen the opinion, but this is from the article:
District Judge Harold Murphy said the state’s latest attempt at
requiring voter photo IDs discriminated against people who don’t have
driver’s licenses, passports or other government IDs.”
with the judge–it does discriminate against those without IDs–but
that is the whole point. You need an ID to prove your
identity. This is not some major obstacle. The judge may
have just created a new protected class: ID-Challenged Americans.
Last time I checked, it was o.k. to discriminate against them,
especially when the state has a clear and compelling interest.