ID needed to register to vote ... sometimes

June 30, 2010
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Today, the Indiana Supreme Court upheld our state’s voter ID law requiring those who want to vote at the polls to show approved photo identification, like a driver’s license. In his dissent, Justice Theodore Boehm noted how you don’t need photo ID to register to vote.

But now you sort of do.

Starting tomorrow, Hoosiers can register to vote online at www.indianavoters.com. The new Online Voter Registration Solution is a result of legislation passed in 2009 to offer more and easier ways for people to register to vote.

It’s easier in the sense you don’t have to register in person or spend the time mailing in your registration. But there is a catch: You have to have an Indiana driver’s license or identification card to use the system.

You have to sign your voter registration form. Because you can’t do that electronically, your signature for registration is your signature with the BMV. In order to attach that in the new system, you have to enter your driver’s license or ID number.

But what about voter registration fraud? How will this be prevented with the new online system? Can’t someone use someone else’s driver’s license number to register?

In theory, yes, but a FAQ sheet on the new system says that county voter registration officials will use the online voter registration application, driver’s license or state ID card account holder information to verify someone’s identity. These are apparently similar tools to what they use with the Statewide Voter Registration System to prevent fraud to validate information through paper-based voter registration applications.

If you don’t have a valid ID right now, there is a way around it by using the current paper system. You’ll still need that ID to be able to vote so you may as well get one before registering to vote if possible. The Supreme Court says so.

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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