Tell me if youve heard this one before. The night before Election Day a Republican and a Democrat walk into a bar yes, together. The pair sit at the bar and each order an adult beverage to celebrate the end of a long and spirited campaign. Before serving the drinks, the bartender asks the duo for appropriate identification.
The Democrat produces his photo-ID, but alas, the Republican has forgotten hers. The Republican is told she cannot be served, but, although upset, she says she understands. The Democrat finishes his drink and the two leave the bar without any comment regarding the lack of a drink had by the Republican.
The very next morning, Election Day, this bi-partisan pair meets at their local voting establishment really the fire house to cast ballots in culmination of the hard work they put in on behalf of their candidates. The two friends stood in their respective alphabetically assigned lines until their turns came. The Republican produced her voter identification card, affirmed her address and proceeded to the booth.
Meanwhile, the Democrats turn came and he had no appropriate identification that would allow him to vote. He huffed and puffed like a petulant three-year-old demanding his right to vote. Is the election official, who is far underpaid for the 15-hour task he performs, supposed to just allow someone who is unable to properly identify himself to cast a ballot? How does the election official know the voter is who he claims to be? Perhaps the potential voter has moved and is attempting to vote in more than one precinct.
Issues like these and others involving potential election/voter fraud are the subjects of the consolidated cases Crawford v. Marion County Election Board and Indiana Democratic Party v. Rokita being heard by the United States Supreme Court.
The challengers, being lead by the Indiana Democratic Party and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), aver that requiring voters to produce photo identification in order to vote is a hardship and a design by the GOP to disenfranchise poor, elderly, disabled and urban voters who tend to vote Democratic.
While the Democrats claim this is a political issue, and a partisan one at that, the Republicans and the majority of the panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit do not agree, instead calling this, appropriately, a legal matter. And while this pair of linked cases involved the Hoosier State, make no mistake, the outcome will have lasting effects on state laws throughout the nation.
If a person does not have proper identification and is denied a purchase at a liquor store, why are there not ACLU protesters picketing that establishment? If a person does not have proper identification and is denied the purchase of a firearm, why are there not ACLU protesters picketing that establishment?
Sanford Horn lives in Alexandria.