At a basic level, voter ID laws seem perfectly rational. Election security is important and requiring voters to present identification looks like a good way to prevent fraud. Yet in the United States, voter ID laws have been sharply criticized because in practice, they tend to disenfranchise voters and have the potential to reduce participation by discouraging voters from heading to the polls. Many Americans may lack the required ID and face barriers to obtaining one.
By: Daniel Long
This past summer, the Eighth Circuit held that a controversial North Dakota law requiring very specific forms of voter identification could go into effect, vacating a district court’s injunction. The law in question, N.D. Cent. Code § 16.1-01-04.1, requires prospective voters to present identification that includes a North Dakota residential street address. If the prospective voter’s identification does not have a current residential street address, the voter may present other supplemental forms as well, such as a utility bill, provided that these forms contain a current residential address. North Dakota’s voter ID law received fierce backlash from Native Americans, whose IDs typically contain P.O. boxes rather than residential street addresses. The Eighth Circuit’s ruling begs the question, could North Dakota’s voter ID law migrate south to South Dakota? [Read more…] about Dakota Drama: Could Controversial North Dakota Voter ID Law Migrate South?
By: Samantha Becker
On June 14, 2018, the Supreme Court invalidated a Minnesota law that prohibited wearing any “political badge, political button, or other political insignia” inside a polling place on Election Day.” The ban was interpreted to cover a variety of attire, such as t-shirts, buttons, and hats, and versions of the law had been in place for over a century. In a 7-2 decision, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing for the majority, the Court ruled that the Minnesota political attire ban was unconstitutional.