Indiana More Restrictive Than Iraq?

Got an email tip about Indiana. Democrats staged a walkout there, too, and the Secretary of State spreads more baseless suspicions (Read More).

Google found this March 3, 2005 legislative report from Indiana Rep. Bob Kuzman (D-Crown Point):

House Bill 1439 also sounds deceptively simple. It requires voters to provide a photo ID before being allowed to vote on Election Day. In reality, this proposal is designed to intimidate voters, particularly senior citizens, minorities and people on
lower incomes.

With the type of voter identification system contained in House Bill 1439 in place, I believe that Election Days in Indiana will be similar to what people in Ohio had to endure last November: waiting for hours to cast a vote. In Iraq, a person simply had to put his or her finger in a bowl of ink in order to vote. Do we really think that we should place more
restrictions on voters than they do in Iraq?

I supported an effort that would have enabled voters to offer other pieces of identification – such as utility bills, vehicle registration or Social Security cards – in order to vote. Those efforts were defeated.

Jim Shella of WISH-TV (Indanapolis) reports on March 10, 2005:

Republicans in the Indiana House of Representatives have now revived both of the bills that led to last week’s walkout by Democrats, causing one Democrat to walk out of a committee hearing Thursday.

That walk-out took place in a hearing on the bill that would require voters to show a photo ID. One Democrat objected to both the bill and way the committee meeting was being conducted.

The hearing on the voter ID bill had to be moved to the House chamber when 200 members of the United Auto Workers union showed up to protest. They believe the bill is designed to discourage elderly and low-income voters who may not have a driver’s license.

“If it’s gonna be a law that affects everybody it has to be fair for everybody,” said Connie Thurman, UAW.

Supporters insist the measure is designed to reduce voter fraud. Currently, registered voters are only required to sign in.

Secretary of State Todd Rokita says it’s possible to sign in more than once and therefore vote illegally even though he couldn’t cite a case where it has been done. “Why should we wait to become a problem state? Clearly Washington was, clearly Florida was, clearly New Mexico was… to address the situation,” he said.

“I think it’s just a ploy to erode voter confidence and erode the number of people who take part in the process. It amounts to a poll tax,” said Rep. Mae Dickinson (D-Indianapolis).

When it appeared the committee was about to take a vote, Democrat Craig Fry of Mishawaka objected. “A driver’s license is a privilege and voting is a constitutional right. You can’t do this,” he said.

Fry left and no vote was taken. The committee is now scheduled to vote on the voter ID bill next week.

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