Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Voter ID Law Is Bad for Democracy (Update)

While driving home this evening, I heard Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita offer yet another wholly idiotic defense of Indiana's voter ID law (see prior blog entry for his other argument). According to Mr. Rokita, the voter ID law has given citizens more faith in the democratic process and, therefore, the percentage of people who have voted in Indiana since the passage of the law has increased.

First, I'm not sure about whether the percentage of voters has increased. Second, I'm not sure about whether types of offices being contested has been factored into that percentage calculation. And even if the percentage has increased and been normalized, I still have a really hard time buying the suggestion that more people have chosen to vote because of the voter ID law. We might also be able to conclude that more people have voted because Tony Dungy is coaching the Colts or because Desperate Housewives gives people more faith in the strength of American popular culture or because ... oh, never mind.

Rokita's argument is idiotic; it is simply further evidence that proponents of the law will grasp any idea or rationalization upon which to base the argument that the law is good for Indiana, no matter how specious that argument may be.

The voter ID law, in its present form, is bad for democracy and bad for Indiana. I just hope that a right-leaning Supreme Court values democratic values over Republican partisanship. But then the outcome of Bush v. Gore doesn't really leave me much reason for optimism.

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