Voter ID Law Stands

PUBLISHED: 6:50 PM 10 Oct 2018
UPDATED: 9:40 PM 10 Oct 2018

SCOTUS Sides With State, Circuit Court On North Dakota Voter ID Law

The Supreme Court stated that North Dakota's Voter ID law can stand as it was written originally, concurring with a lower court decision.

The SCOTUS sided with a federal circuit court on a North Dakota Voter ID law earlier this week.

The United States Supreme Court, has issued their ruling concerning the constitutionality of Voter ID. In a decision that didn’t include the newest member, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, they upheld North Dakota’s right to enforce its Voter ID law in the upcoming election.

The SCOTUS ruled to enforce the ‘full Voter ID’ law, despite a ‘disenfranchisement’ dissension by Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The lawsuit was brought against the state and its new Voter ID law by a Native American group.

North Dakota’s new Voter Identification law allowed the voters who didn’t have the required photo ID to show various supplemental documents that include their name and street address instead.

Native Americans challenged a particular provision in the law, which required that the address had to be a residential street address, rather than a PO Box or some other kind of address, because, according to them, some members of the tribes didn’t have residential addresses.

A federal judge ruled in favor of the Natives, and expanded the requirements of the law so that documents with ‘non-residential’ street addresses would be acceptable.

An appeals court then blocked that ruling for the upcoming election season.

The Supreme Court of the United States sided with the appeals court, blocking the expansion of the law to accept such ‘non-residential’ addresses.

The SCOTUS did not give a full accounting of how its nine justices decided to vote on the issue, although leftist judges Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg publicly dissented with the ruling.

In a dissent written by Ginsburg and joined by Kagan, they declared that the “risk of disenfranchisement is large.”

Justice Ginsburg wrote that the risk of disenfranchisement of voters was great, due to changes between the identification that was sufficient to allow citizens to vote in the primary, and what will be acceptable under the law in the actual midterm election.

She complained that for months, the Secretary of State’s website listed the requirements to vote, as they had been forced upon the state by the federal court’s injunction.

The decision by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked that injunction last month, however, and the Supreme Court agreed with that decision.

Native American groups claimed that the change to the law which would disallow ‘non-residential’ addresses would prevent thousands of people who share their ethnicity from being able to vote in the midterm election.

However, allowing people to use ‘non-residential’ address to register for elections could come with its own series of problems, many people agree.

Allowing people to register with a Post Office Box, in particular, could allow people to choose where they want to register, even if it is not necessarily the district where they live.

This, of course, could lead to multiple instances of improper votes being cast, and could even make it much simpler for people to commit voter fraud by manipulating the registration and ID requirements.

Many states allow voters to use alternative forms of ID if they do not have a state or federally-issued photo identification card, such as a driver’s license or a military ID.

Generally, individuals can prove their identity, and that they reside within the appropriate district, by presenting a utility bill, or a bank statement, or even a signed copy of their lease, at the polling place.

Some states even go further, and will provide free ‘voter ID cards,’ picture IDs that do not grant a license to operate a motor vehicle, to people who don’t have a driver’s license.

At some point, however, leftist schemes to prevent ‘voter disenfranchisement’ seem to go beyond simply making sure that people can vote, all the way to the point where it is absurdly simple to abuse the law, many people argue.

Allowing people to use a PO Box to register to vote would seem to be yet another instance where the law is being expanded by a federal court to the point where it is amount guaranteed that someone could easily abuse it.

Ginsburg and Kagan’s dissent is hardly unusual or unforeseen, given their voting history.

Justice Kavanaugh did not vote in the case, likely because he was only confirmed to the court on Saturday and sworn in on Sunday.

The rest of the court voted in favor of upholding the decision from the Eighth Circuit Court.