Monday, March 12, 2012
Controversial voter ID laws in Texas and Wisconsin were shut down due to concerns over discrimination at the polls. Both laws would have required voters to show photo IDs before casting a ballot. In the case of Texas, the U.S. Justice Department tossed out the law because it would violate the federal Voting Rights Act and make it particularly difficult for Latinos to vote. In Wisconsin, a state judge found the law unconstitutional, saying that this particular effort to prevent voter fraud creates too many barriers for poor and minority voters. Supporters of the ID laws in both states plan to appeal the decisions and Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has said the photo ID law is "consistent with the Constitution." Of course, since photography hadn't yet been invented when the Constitution was written, one wonders whether the founders were particularly prescient or whether they supported some kind of etching or watercolor ID law.