Indiana Democratic Party, et al., v Todd Rokita, et al.

Opinion Granting Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment, Denying Plaintiffs' Motions for Summary Judgment, & Denying Plaintiffs' motion to strike


On 7-1-05, a new Indiana law went into effect requiring individuals to present government-issued photo ID at polling places before they could cast their votes. Under the new law, individuals without photo IDs may cast a provisional ballot but must, within 10 days, either produce a government-issued photo ID, or file an affidavit that they are indigent and cannot afford a government-issued photo ID. Two cases were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana challenging the new voter photo ID requirements: Crawford v. Marion County Election Board and Indiana Democratic Party v. Rokita , which were later heard together. Indiana states that the law should be upheld, and it would combat voter fraud. Plaintiffs' contend that a voter photo ID requirement would disenfranchise the poor and the elderly. The few cases of voter fraud that have been documented all have occurred with absentee ballots. On 4-14-05, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana ruled for the defendants, upholding the law. The case was appealed. On 1-4-07, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled 2 to 1 to uphold the new Indiana voter photo ID requirements. On 4-7-07, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit denied an appeal for an en banc rehearing of the case. The plaintiffs, Crawford and the Indiana Democratic Party, then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. On 9-25-07, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the cases together. The question presented is: Whether an Indiana statute mandating that those seeking to vote in-person produce a government-issued photo identification violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution?

This is the opinion of the District Court granting Defendants motion for summary judgment, denying plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and their motion to strike.

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Reference Info:Decision | Federal, 7th Circuit, Indiana | United States

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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