Voter ID bill disenfranchised | CalWatchDog
Jan. 12, 2010
By KATY GRIMES
A bill designed to combat voter fraud was disenfranchised in the state Senate’s elections committee after a close vote and plenty of testimony in opposition.
The committee heard testimony of the bill proposed by Sen. Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, requiring government-issued identification to vote. Current law states that only first-time voters are required to show identification.
Huff appeared before the committee and explained that SB465 was necessary for “maintaining integrity at the ballot box – we must know our vote will count.” When Senator Huff first introduced the bill in March 2009, he explained that the purpose of the bill would help ensure that only those who have a constitutional right to vote are choosing our elected officials.
In testimony, Huff explained that voter fraud is a problem in California and has been highlighted many times in news investigations, citing the 1999 60 Minutes story that found people in California who used mail-in forms to register fictitious voters, and even their pets, and then obtained absentee ballots in those names. Huff said that fraud still occurs, necessitating the voter identification bill. Huff also shared the example of the illegal immigrant who assassinated a Mexican presidential candidate who, ironically was registered twice to vote in San Pedro, Calif.
Representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union, AARP, the League of Women Voters, Disability Rights California, Dolores Huerta Foundation, Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality, and California Immigrant Policy Center testified in opposition to the Voter ID bill, each presenting a common theme of “voter disenfranchisement” and “discrimination.”
Appearing in support of the bill, David Wolfe from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, opined, “I need identification to get a library card or use my credit card at Best Buy. Why not show ID?”
The bill failed, 3-2.
In 2008, with 29 states already requiring some form of identification to vote, the U. S. Supreme Court voted 6-3 to uphold voter identification laws. In California, there are currently 30 different forms of identification that can be used under HAVA, including a government issued check or a utility bill that includes the person’s name and address.