With the federal court ruling last week, the Republicans’ photo ID law is back in effect.
You may think a photo ID for voting should be no big deal, and certainly, it isn’t for most us. But when some legislators stand up and say it’s an undue burden on their constituents, we need to show a little understanding.
As U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore from Wisconsin’s 4th Congressional District put it, you need a photo ID to drive a car, and you need a photo ID to board a plane. But you don’t have a constitutional right to drive a car or fly in a plane. You do have a constitutional right to vote.
The U.S. Supreme Court has determined more than once that any attempt to qualify or the restrict this fundamental right is unconstitutional.
University of Wisconsin political scientist Ken Mayer estimated that 200,000 registered Wisconsin voters do not have a photo ID. These would be primarily elderly voters who don’t have driver’s licenses and inner city residents who have less need for cars. As we all know, both groups are more likely to vote for Democrats. Now they will have to jump through hoops, which they may not all have the ability (or now the time) to do, to be allowed to vote.
The purported reason for the law, voting fraud, is a ruse. There have been only a handful of cases of suspected voter fraud. And in fact, in Wisconsin there has been only one case brought to charges of a person voting more than once in an election, and that one is by a Republican and Walker supporter, Robert Monroe of Shorewood.