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League of Women Voters of Indiana v. Rokita

Indiana's Top Court Refuses to Strike Down Restrictive Voter ID Law

The Dispute

Based on nationwide estimates of the share of older voters who lack a driver's license, the most common form of photo ID acceptable under Indiana law, as many as 140,000 older voters are unable to vote in person because of the Photo ID law. The law requires voters to show a government issued photo ID. In most cases, this means a valid driver's license or passport. For those who do not or cannot drive or travel internationally — and thus have neither a driver's license nor passport — Indiana provides state-issued photo identification cards at no cost.

However, "free" identification cards do not come without cost, and are not always obtainable. A birth certificate must still be presented in order to obtain an ID, at a cost that can vary from $10 up to $60 for out-of-state documents. Residents also must arrange for transportation (or postage and shipping charges) to obtain documents and IDs.

Even worse, Indiana residents born out-of-state may need a government-issued ID in order to obtain a copy of their birth certificates in to order to get an ID to vote. In some states, before the 1960s, many minority mothers gave birth outside of hospitals (in some cases because of race-exclusive laws or rules, or simply because of limited income), so their children may not have a birth certificate on file. Moreover, because the photo ID law requires a voter's name to match the voting roll, women who changed their names at marriage by choice or under a statutory duty to do so, face additional and sometimes insurmountable hurdles to get marriage certificates or other official name change documents in addition to birth records. Prior to 1974, the State of Indiana required women to change their maiden name at marriage.


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