Monday, October 23, 2006


October 20, 2006
U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Ninth Circuit Decision to Bar Voter ID Requirements Today the U.S. Supreme Court voted unanimously to overturn a recent Ninth Circuit decision barring the enforcement of an Arizona voter ID law. Enacted in 2004 by citizen initiative, the law required proof of citizenship for new voter registrations and photo identification at the polls. Both the Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF) and Secretary of State Sam Reed have recommended this law as a model for Washington to follow, and today's decision underscores the legality of such requirements.
The Court chided the Ninth Circuit for acting without having all the proper facts, and for interfering right before a major election. Regarding the merits of voter ID laws, the Court did not make a specific ruling but noted that: "Confidence in the integrity of our electoral processes is essential to the functioning of our participatory democracy. Voter fraud drives honest citizens out of the democratic process and breeds distrust of our government."
Jonathan Bechtle, director of EFF's Voter Integrity Project, agreed with the Court's ruling, saying, "Today's unanimous decision is good news. It helps pave the way legally for needed reforms in Washington, like proof of citizenship for voter registration. It also sends a message to courts that the legitimate desire of voters for better election security cannot be dismissed!" Supreme Court's decision
Contact: Jonathan Bechtle

Director and Legal Analyst, Citizenship and Governance Center
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