CRAWFORD v. MARION COUNTY ELECTION BOARD

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
Petitioner 
William Crawford, et al.
Respondent 
Marion County Election Board, et al.
Consolidation 
Indiana Democratic Party, et al. v. Todd Rokita, Indiana Secretary of State, et al., No. 07-25
Advocates
(on behalf of the United States, as amicus curiae, supporting the Respondents)
(on behalf of the Petitioners)
(on behalf of the Respondents)
Term:
Facts of the Case 

In 2005, the Indiana Legislature passed a law requiring all voters who cast a ballot in person to present a photo ID issued by the United States or the State of Indiana. Plaintiffs including the local Democratic Party and interest groups representing minority and elderly citizens argued that the law constituted an undue burden on the right to vote. At trial, the plaintiffs did not produce any witnesses who claimed they would be unable to meet the law’s requirements. The district court and the court of appeals both upheld the law. However, the three-judge appellate panel was deeply divided. Dissenting Judge Terrence Evans claimed that the law was a thinly-veiled attempt to dampen turnout by those likely to vote for Democratic candidates.

Question 

Does a law that requires voters to present either a state or federal photo identification unduly burden citizens’ right to vote?

Conclusion 
Decision: 6 votes for Marion County Election Board, 3 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Equal Protection

By a vote of 6 to 3, the Court upheld the law, concluding that the photo I.D. requirement was closely related to Indiana's legitimate state interests in preventing voter fraud. The slight burden the law imposed on voters' rights did not outweigh these interests, which the Court characterized as "neutral and nondiscriminatory." Although there was no majority opinion, the Court's decision included concurring opinions written by Justices John Paul Stevens and Antonin Scalia. Justices David Souter and Stephen Breyer each wrote dissenting opinions. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined Justice Souter's dissent.

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CRAWFORD v. MARION COUNTY ELECTION BOARD. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 24 October 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2007/2007_07_21>.
CRAWFORD v. MARION COUNTY ELECTION BOARD, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2007/2007_07_21 (last visited October 24, 2014).
"CRAWFORD v. MARION COUNTY ELECTION BOARD," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed October 24, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2007/2007_07_21.