- The Washington Times - Friday, October 20, 2006


The Supreme Court yesterday ruled that Arizona can require voters to provide photo identification when they cast their ballots next month.

The justices cautioned that they were not issuing a ruling on the constitutionality of Arizona’s law. “As we have noted, the facts in these cases are hotly contested,” the court said in an unsigned five-page order.

The court said it would review the legal challenge to Arizona’s Proposition 200, approved by the state’s voters in 2004. The law requires voters to prove citizenship when registering to vote and to show photo IDs when they go to the polls. The law was meant to make sure illegal aliens weren’t casting ballots.

Opponents of the law contend it discourages some people from voting, including the elderly, poor and disadvantaged who don’t always carry IDs.

A federal judge ruled the state could enforce the law. But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals later blocked it from taking effect for the Nov. 7 election.

Courts in Georgia and Missouri recently have blocked similar laws.

In his bid to allow the state to go forward, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard told the justices that “voter registration at the polls is an emerging issue of national importance. States have a compelling interest in curbing fraud and protecting the integrity of elections.”

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