Even civil rights activist Andrew Young, a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and mayor of Atlanta, says that free IDs would be a boon to poor minority families.
Indiana's new voter ID law is now before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which won't rule until after congressional midterm elections on Nov. 7. Indiana's law is similar to Arizona's in its flexibility; voters without IDs can get a free ID from the bureau of motor vehicles, and they can cast provisional ballots to give time to prove their identity.
Lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and other liberal groups are keeping this issue alive. The Missouri Supreme Court threw out Missouri's voter ID law Oct. 16, and a similar ruling by a Georgia judge is pending before that state's supreme court.
Fewer than half our states require photo ID. In California, it is illegal for election officials to ask a voter to provide identification.
On Sept. 20, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would require voters to show a valid photo ID in all federal elections. The Federal Election Integrity Act, H.R. 4844, sponsored by retiring Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., passed 228-196, but has been ignored by the Senate.
Lawsuits trying to persuade activist judges to rule that states must allow felons to vote have been filed in at least four states, even though the 14th Amendment, Section 2, explicitly allows states to bar felons from voting.There are enough felons in many states to swing a close election.
Voter ID is one of dozens of ways that states should tighten up requirements to improve the honesty of our elections. States should clean up their registration rolls - for example, Philadelphia has more registered voters than adults eligible to vote.
States should also plug the opportunities for fraud in their absentee ballot procedures. A Californian can register without any ID by filling out a postcard at any post office, and nearly half of Californians now vote by mail using absentee ballots.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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