Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Another victory for photo ID

Photo ID

Great news from the Hoosier State. One of the country’s strictest photo ID laws was upheld by the Indiana Supreme Court. The state’s photo ID law was also upheld tow years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court.  The Indianapolis Star reports:

“In a 4-1 decision Wednesday, the Indiana Supreme Court found the requirement of a government-issued photo ID for in-person voters valid under the state constitution. Under the decision, any new cases brought against the law would have to be based on the experiences of rejected voters, instead of a broad challenge of the kind that has failed at both the state and U.S. supreme courts.”

Indiana has always been at the forefront of the photo ID issue.
The Center for Democracy and Election Management at American University released a study during January 2008 providing more evidence that photo IDs are not obstacles to voting.

A random sample of registered voters in Indiana, Mississippi and Maryland found that only 1.2 percent of registered voters lack a government-issued photo ID.

More than two-thirds of all registered voters in the three states believe the electoral system would be trusted more if people had to show an ID to vote.

The study also demonstrates that a very small percentage of registered voters will be adversely affected by a photo ID requirement.

Nearly a quarter of the registered voters in the three states lack confidence that their votes will be counted accurately, and an even greater number perceive that fraud is more widespread than experts believe.

Other key findings:

The issue of showing a photo ID as a requirement of voting does not appear to be a serious concern in the three surveyed states.

Almost all registered voters have an acceptable form of photo ID available (e.g., driver’s license, passport, military ID or some combination of these documents).

About 1.2 percent of registered voters do not have a photo ID, but half of those have documents proving citizenship, and most of the states have provisional or absentee ballots or other exceptions that could permit people to vote.

Registered voters without photo IDs tended to be female, African-American, and Democrat. However, that number of registered voters in the survey was too small (24 of 2,000) to draw definitive conclusions about this group.

A much larger problem among poor and minorities is not registered voters without IDs, but those who are not registered.

More than 97 percent of all registered voters in the three states surveyed could produce proof of citizenship, either a birth certificate, a passport, or naturalization papers.

Nearly one-fifth of registered voters saw or heard of fraud at their own polling place, and an even larger number, 64 percent of all respondents - reported hearing of fraud elsewhere.

Nearly all, 96 percent of voters in this study said showing a photo ID would not make them less likely to vote.

Opposition to voter IDs has come largely from those who fear that this requirement will disenfranchise voters who do not have IDs or would find it difficult to acquire them. But they were unable to locate a single individual in Indiana who was prevented from casting a ballot because they lacked an ID.

Here is the full report
, Voter IDs Are Not the Problem: A Survey of Three States.

Also during 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s strict photo ID law. Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in his opinion that the state of Indiana had legitimate interests in its photo ID law, including, “protecting the integrity and reliabil­ity of the electoral process, deterring and detecting voter fraud,” and safeguarding voter confidence.

A photo ID requirement returns confidence to our system that has been rocked by voter fraud. It ensures that every voter casting a legal ballot is not disenfranchised by a fraudulently cast ballot. Voters across Wisconsin from both parties are clamoring for this common sense public policy.

Should the political landscape in Madison change following the November 2010 elections, photo ID will be a top legislative priority during the 2011-12 legislative session. I have always sponsored photo ID legislation and will do so again to help prevent voter fraud in Wisconsin.




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