Supreme Court to Vote on ID Law

The Supreme Court agreed today to decide whether voter identification laws unfairly deter poor and minority Americans from voting.

The decision means the high court is stepping into a contentious partisan issue in advance of the 2008 elections. The justices will hear arguments early next year in a challenge to an Indiana law that requires voters to present photo ID before casting their ballots.

The state has defended the law as a way to combat voter fraud. The state Democratic Party and civil rights groups complained that the law unfairly targets poor and minority voters, without any evidence that in-person voter fraud exists in Indiana. Courts have upheld voter ID laws in Arizona and Michigan, but struck down Missouri's.

In June, the Georgia Supreme Court threw out a challenge to that state's voter ID law but sidestepped a decision on whether the requirement was constitutional. But that changed earlier this month when the federal judge who first struck down the law ruled that a revised version passes constitutional muster.

While an appeal is still likely, the ruling is nonetheless a significant political win for Georgia's Republicans.

Voter ID became a signature issue for the party soon after it gained control of both chambers of the state Legislature.

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