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Michigan Supreme Court upholds voter photo ID law

[JURIST] The Michigan Supreme Court [official website] Wednesday upheld a voter ID law [case docket] in that state, ruling against critics who argued that the ID requirement is essentially a poll tax. The 5-2 decision was split down party lines, with the Republican majority deciding that since voters who don't have a photo ID can vote after signing a sworn affidavit regarding their identity, the argument of a de facto poll tax was unfounded. Supporters of the ID law [text] say that a photo ID is necessary to prevent voter fraud. The law was initially passed in 1996, but former Attorney General Frank Kelly [profile] refused to prosecute under it, arguing that it was unconstitutional. The law was renewed in 2005.

Numerous voter ID laws [JURIST news archive] have been challenged in the courts, with inconsistent rulings across the states. Laws in Indiana and Arizona [JURIST reports] have been upheld, while one in Missouri was struck down [JURIST report] last year. AP has more.

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