Posted on March 31, 2005

Photo ID at Polls Fuels State Debates

Deanna Wrenn, AP, Mar. 31

INDIANAPOLIS — Legislation that would require voters to show photo identification before casting ballots has touched off fierce debate in three states, with opponents complaining the measures represent a return to the days of poll taxes and Jim Crow.

Lawmakers in Georgia and Indiana walked off the job to protest the proposals, which they say would deprive the poor, the elderly and minorities of the right to vote.

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, already has vetoed a similar measure and has vowed to do so again.

Republicans argue the bills would restore voter confidence and eliminate fraud without overly burdening voters, most of whom have driver’s licenses or photo IDs anyway.

“I want everyone to be able to vote — once,” said Indiana state Sen. Victor Heinold, a Republican.