By ERIC FREEDMAN
Capital News Service
LANSING – While courts in other states wrestle with challenges to their voter photo ID laws in the run-up to the November elections, Michigan’s law is firmly in place. Supporters of photo ID requirements argue that they prevent fraud at the polls, while critics counter that they discourage Election Day participation, especially among minority voters who may not have one of the mandatory forms of identification. Michigan is one of 33 states where voters must show proof of identity, according to Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. “The long history of voting rights issues in the United States haunts this debate, with one side focused on preventing voter suppression and the other focused on preventing elections from being ‘stolen,’” the center said. “Frequently, memories are invoked of the extreme suppression of African-American voters in the Jim Crow South or of corrupt ward bosses in the Tammany Hall era, for example, stuffing ballot boxes and encouraging voting ‘early and often.’”
Court decisions on the issue are mixed.