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PSN on October 26, 2006 - 9:19am
Someday soon, we will all be experts in Ohio election law. The state's rules are under fire yet again. This time, a labor union and an advocacy organization for the homeless have teamed up to file suit regarding the state's new ID rules, which the plaintiffs say are being enforced differently county by county.
The rules have come under fire as they require a driver's license number (Ohio driver's licenses have two different unique ID numbers), a current utility bill (no one is quite sure what current means), or a military ID with current address (Army, Air Force, and Navy IDs do not have addresses on them).
ID rules have come under fire elsewhere as opponents charge the strict requirements will effectively disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters nationally, disproportionately affecting the low-income, the disabled, the elderly, and people of color.
Making the situation worse is heightened demagoguery on immigration issues, which is leading legislatures to adopt even stricter laws making it more difficult for people to get IDs (in the linked story, the daughter of a Colorado Senator responsible for such a measure runs into roadblocks while trying to get her driver's license). Making it more difficult, more expensive, and more time-consuming to get identification while requiring that ID be shown at the polls is fundamentally threatening to participation in this nation.