Voter ID Requirements: Members voted, 228-196, to require photo identification as a condition of voting in federal elections starting in 2008. The bill also requires that by 2010 voters must show proof of citizenship along with their photo ID. A yes vote was to send the bill (HR 4844) to the Senate.
The Connecticut Delegation voted along party lines, so much for being moderate Shays, Johnson and Simmons:
Chris Shays Y
Nancy Johnson Y
The reality is we are well on our way to requiring a national id. You can't drive, fly, open a bank account, and receive a whole host of government services. But this bill sidesteps the issue in the name of voter fraud. And somewhat disingenuously, since the headlines of recent past elections were about the voter suppression allegations and the general lack of a paper trail accompanying the move to electronic voting, not to mention the vunerability of electronic voting machines.
In Connecticut, the march towards new voting technology has been painfully slow. And unlike Oregon, there's been no move towards gaining more voter participation by moving towards voting by mail. The polling locations, apparently are here to stay. As Robert Kuttner says, "Tens of millions of Americans don't vote because we make voters go through a two-step process of registering and then voting." Despite the Democratic opposition to the requirement of picture IDs, there is no counter argument to increase voter turnout and participation.
On the surface It seems that the purpose of this bill is to depress voter participation, by elevating a requirement handled at the state level, to a federal mandate. The people most affected by this bill will be poor, rural, disabled and elderly citizens. There is nothing in this bill that addresses what states can do to help their citizens meet these requirements. Isn't it time that Republicans stop sending unfunded mandates to the states?
updated: source: www.eac.gov
Thomas Roll Call
The American Prospect License and Registration by Robert Kuttner, 12.09.04