Democrats Predict Voter ID
Laws may create election day turmoil.
By Amy Goldstein
The Washington Post
Friday 03 November 2006
On Indiana's primary day, Rep. Julia Carson shoved her congressional identification card in a pocket, ran out of her house and raced down the street to be at her polling site when it opened at 6 a.m. The Democrat, seeking to represent Indianapolis for a sixth term, showed the card to a poll worker, who told her it was unacceptable under a new state law that requires every voter to show proof of identity.
The law compels voters to show an ID, issued by Indiana or the federal government, with a photograph and an expiration date. Carson's card was for the 109th Congress, but did not say when the session ends. "I just thought I was carrying the right thing - if you have a card that has a picture and shows it is current," she said.
In the end, the poll worker telephoned a boss, and Carson was allowed to vote for herself in the five-way primary. But her close call in the light turnout of the May primary, she and other Democrats say, foreshadows turmoil and votes that are not counted when the nation goes to the polls for Tuesday's midterm elections.
Indiana will have the country's strictest voter identification law in effect on Election Day. The 2005 picture ID law, however, puts it among a dozen states that have tightened requirements lately that voters display some form of identification at the polls. The laws have spawned partisan warring, lawsuits and confusion that election experts predict could influence the outcome of some close elections.