Friday, January 23, 2009

Voter Photo ID Bill Killed Again

Yet another GOP effort to require that voters show a government-issued photo identification document before being allowed to cast a ballot died at the statehouse Thursday.

The House killed a similiar bill last year.

HB 1115, sponsored by Rep. Ken Summers, R-Lakewood, would have mandated that a prospective voter show a Colorado driver license or Department of Revenue identification card, U.S. passport, local, state or federal government employee identification card, military identification or state university student ID card before being given a ballot.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in April 2008 that states may require voters to show photo identification before voting without violating the U.S. Constitution.

The decision in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board has not yet prompted any state that did not already require voters to show a photo ID every time they vote to do so, according to a website maintained by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 requires states to enact statutes requiring voters that have registered to vote by mail, and who did not supply such proof of identification with their registration, to show identification the first time they vote.

The vote in the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee was on a party-line basis, with all seven Democrats opposing Summers' measure.