Arizona Voter-ID Law Stands

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Supreme Court issued its first significant ruling of the term last Friday, deciding unanimously that Arizona could put its new voter-ID rules into effect for the Nov. 7 election. The law states that voters must present proof of citizenship when registering to vote and identification when they cast their ballots, despite claims that Proposition 200 -- approved by Arizonian voters in 2004 -- is unfair to minorities.

A similar law was struck down in Georgia by a lower court not too long ago, one that bought the claim that requiring proof of citizenship is burdensome to minorities.

Friday's ruling however is unlikely to affect nation-wide election law, as the decision was not based on the legality of such a law but instead on the time-restrictions Arizona faces before heading to the polls.

"Given the imminence of the election and the inadequate time to resolve the factual disputes, our action today shall of necessity allow the election to proceed without any injunction suspending the voter identification rules," the court said in its unsigned opinion.

If the Supreme Court ever does decide on the merits of such laws that restrict voters from casting a ballot without proof of identification, I am confident the Roberts-led group with Samuel Alito in his first full term will rightfully uphold them as constitutional.

Democrats argue that requiring a photo-ID is tantamount to racial discrimination because poor minorities supposedly have a hard time acquiring identification. Never mind that you can get one at no cost if you lack the financial means, and in some cases the district in which you reside will provide free transportation to get you that ID.

There may be some truth to the notion that these initiatives to restrict voting (almost exclusively by Republicans) is done to keep Democratic-voting minorities away from the polls, but to say it's unfair to require everyone to possess a photo-ID because black people don't have the resources to get one is insulting.

The real reason why these laws must be in place nationwide is simply to prevent voter fraud. As the nation awaits an upcoming election that can significantly alter the makeup of Congress, it is imperative that the results are as legitimate as possible lest we repeat the 2000 election hangover.

In Arizona's case, Proposition 200 was designed to prevent illegal aliens from voting. Considering that illegal aliens shouldn't even be in this country in the first place, keeping them away from the polls is the logical conclusion to this scenario.

Voting in a federal election is a privilege bestowed upon American citizens who wish to exercise the greatest freedom afforded to them. It should not be cheapened by political activists who are afraid people won't show up to vote because they don't have a measly ID card.