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More States Join Indiana In Voter Photo ID Requirements

Indiana is offering mobile voter registration. Voters can now use their cell phones to register to vote.

Many states are tightening their voter ID laws ahead of the 2012 election, and legislators in some of those states are pointing to Indiana’s law as an example of a strict photo voter ID law.

Some voter rights groups are concerned about a wave of voter photo ID laws that copy Indiana’s. A recent study by the Brennan Center for Justice, an advocacy group, says state legislatures around the U.S. are tightening their voter ID requirements.

In 2011, four states passed new voter ID laws and four states updated their laws to specifically require photo IDs. States like Kansas and Wisconsin recently passed laws that are similar to Indiana’s photo voter ID requirement.

Speaking Friday on WFIU’s Noon Edition, Brad King, Republican co-director with the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office’s Election Division, said even though some voter rights groups say the laws are specifically designed to benefit Republican candidates, he doesn’t it see it that way.

“There certainly is a partisan divide between the two parties regarding this, and so it may be more likely that a state with a Republican legislature will consider and pass the law, but I don’t think that means it’s purely a Republican initiative or idea,” he says.

League of Women Voters of Indiana member Albrecht Holschuh says he doesn’t buy that argument because the voter ID laws are often proposed by Republican legislators.

Holschuh says he thinks a standardized national ID system could prevent both politically motivated legislation and fraud.

“A system of national ID would easily resolve all of this,” he says. “It would take a few decades to implement fully, and you could start now. And an attempt was actually made in the last decade and it failed.”

Indiana Elections Division Co-Director Brad King says he thinks more states will adopt photo ID laws in the coming years but says it’s unlikely the federal government will enact a nationwide voter ID law anytime soon.

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