New York Law School

Archive for May, 2008

Barrier to the Ballot

The right to vote is a fundamental right that goes to the core of an individual’s liberty. A right so sacred that it is protected by both the 15th Amendment and the Voting Rights Act of 1954. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had occasion to rule on a new voting restriction in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 128 S. Ct. 1610, 170 L. Ed. 2d 574 (2008). In 2005, the Indiana legislature passed Indiana’s Senate Enrolled Act No. 483, (“the Act”) which requires voters to present identification prior to casting a ballot. Persons living and voting in a state-licensed facility, such as a nursing home, are exempt from the statute’s identification requirement. The Act also provides an exemption for those who have a religious objection to being photographed and those who are indigent. These persons are allowed to submit provisional ballots, which are counted if the voter executes an appropriate affidavit before the circuit court clerk within ten days following the election. Those who possess valid identification but are unable to present it when voting may also file a provisional ballot. The provisional ballot is only counted if the voter presents identification to the circuit court clerk within ten days of the election. Read more