April 28, 2008

CARDIN CALLS SUPREME COURT DECISION ON VOTER ID REQUIREMENTS MISDIRECTED

Decision Places Too Heavy a Burden on Elderly, Minorities and Disabled Citizens

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Judiciary Committee, today made the following statement in response to the Supreme Court's ruling that states can require voters to show photo identification:

 

"I am disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision today in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board rejecting a challenge to Indiana's photo-ID law. Most studies have shown that in-person voter fraud is extremely rare.  These types of laws only serve to discourage and disenfranchise eligible voters, particularly those who are least likely to have a government photo ID, such as minority voters, the poor, the elderly, and the disabled.  I agree with the dissent written by Justice Souter that this law imposes substantial burdens on tens of thousands of citizens who seek to vote, and that this law will likely deter many citizens from voting.

 

"I believe that the government should focus its efforts on registering all eligible voters and expanding the franchise, and take steps to outlaw deceptive practices designed wholly to discourage minority voter turnout."

 

Maryland currently does not require a photo ID to vote. Legislation to this effect has been proposed but has failed in Annapolis.