Robert Bluey

Leading Republicans and Democrats have already weighed in. About 35 congressional Republicans filed a friend-of-the-court brief stating that when they helped enact HAVA, they fully intended to give states the leeway to set their own rules. Indiana took advantage in 2005 and approved the photo ID requirement.

At the time of passage, HAVA was hailed as groundbreaking because it represented congressional acknowledgement that vote fraud was a problem in America. The law primarily addressed voter registration issues, leaving it up to the states to set their own rules for administering elections. Specifically, it required states to keep a voter-registration database, mandated that anyone who registers to vote provide a driver’s license or Social Security number, and stipulated that anyone registering by mail must provide a photo ID.

By instituting these requirements, Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) said states would have a new way to crack down on registration fraud.

“Barnabas Miller of California, Parker Carroll of North Carolina, Packie Lamont of Washington, D.C., Cocoa Fernandez of Florida, Holly Briscoe of Maryland, Maria Princess Salas of Texas and Ritzy Mekler of Missouri. They are a new breed of American voter. Barnabas and Cocoa are poodles. Parker is a Labrador. Maria Princess is a Chihuahua, Holly is a Jack Russell Terrier, and Ritzy is a Springer-Spaniel,” Bond said at the time. “Now, I like dogs ... but I don’t think we should allow them to vote.”

Vote fraud encompasses more than just pets, however. The deceased are notorious for emerging from their graves to cast ballots. The problem becomes even more potent when illegal immigrants are thrown into the mix.

Conservatives have rushed to defend Indiana, fearing a loss at the Supreme Court would erode requirements in the 24 states that have laws stricter than what Congress authorized in 2002. Victories in the Indiana case at the district and circuit courts bode well for their cause, and now they’re even using one of the left’s favorite figures to bolster their argument. When former President Jimmy Carter co-chaired the Commission on Federal Election Reform, he acknowledged the benefits of a photo ID. “Voters in nearly 100 democracies use a photo identification card without fear of infringement on their rights,” the report stated.

If the United States is to set an example for the rest of the world, we must maintain the integrity of our electoral process. This case should be a slam dunk for the Supreme Court.


Robert Bluey

Robert B. Bluey is director of the Center for Media & Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation and maintains a blog at RobertBluey.com