News Release

Aftermath of Supreme Court Voter ID Decision

JUSTIN LEVITT
WENDY WEISER
Levitt is counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice and author of the paper “The Truth About Voter Fraud.” Weiser is deputy director of the Center’s Democracy Program.

Following the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision Monday on the Indiana voter ID law, the Center issued a statement: “Under Indiana’s law, voters must present a government-issued photo ID with an expiration date that has not elapsed. The law does not accept Veterans’ IDs, Congressional IDs, student IDs, or work IDs. Many citizens — disproportionately low-income, minorities, students and seniors — do not have the identification required by Indiana’s law.”

Levitt said today: “Supporters of Indiana’s law seek to stop an imaginary epidemic of voter fraud, even at the expense of preventing real, eligible citizens from voting. They did not provide the Court a single substantiated case of voter impersonation in the history of the state, yet the Court allowed the state’s purported concern with stopping this fraud to outweigh the very real burden Indiana is placing on its citizens.

“As Justice Breyer recognized, Indiana’s system puts the cart before the horse, demanding ID of voters before ensuring that voters actually have them. We have to fix our ID system to make sure that people who don’t have IDs can get them — free of charge and without hassle or delay. With unprecedented interest in elections across the country this year, we need to make sure that laws like Indiana’s don’t dampen turnout and enthusiasm.”

Weiser said today: “The decision is not the end of the story on voter ID. Although the Court upheld Indiana’s voter ID law, it did not say that states must or even should pass restrictive ID laws. Now it’s up to legislators and courts in states like Texas, Missouri, and Florida to decide if they are going to follow Indiana’s lead and disenfranchise American citizens, or if they’re going to protect the right to vote for all Americans as we head into a critical national election. In doing so, they should keep in mind that the Court left open the possibility of future lawsuits against restrictive ID laws that prevent people from voting.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167