by Steven Hale
A few newsy bits from the voter ID beat:
* A Nashville judge yesterday upheld Tennessee's voter ID law, ruling that voting procedures have changed over the years and that the law does not violate the state's constitution. It's true that voting procedures have changed over the years. It's just that in the last two years, state legislatures passed just about as many voting restrictions as they had in the past 100.
This afternoon, outgoing state House Republican Caucus chair Debra Maggart released a statement on the ruling:
"This is a victory for common sense.
"Time and again, Tennesseans have told us that the simple requirement of presenting a photo ID to vote ensures the integrity of our ballot boxes. While government should never be a burden on citizens, it should always protect the constitutional rights of citizens.
"This decision, once again, proves the only individuals who should be concerned about the Voter ID requirement are those who seek to undermine our free and fair elections in the Volunteer State."
Actually, there are other people who should be concerned about the Voter ID requirement. To the next item.
* Reporting on the results from a study on who is effected by voter ID laws, Reuters concludes that "the majority of Americans have ID that would allow them to cast ballots." Those most likely to be unable to vote because of the voter ID requirement are younger Americans, people without a college education, the poor, and Hispanics.
The story notes that Americans without the required ID are less likely to vote anyway. It also notes that "decades of study have found virtually no use of false identification in U.S. elections."
* Elsewhere, in the ongoing court battle over the voter ID law in Pennsylvania — where more than 758,000 people do not have the required photo ID — a judge yesterday hinted that he may block the law in that state.