Florida A & M University Law Review


Remember the old war movies? Richard Attenborough or William Holden is slowly walking down misty Parisian streets, the collar of his trench turned up, the brim of the fedora pulled low. A black sedan screeches around the corner and screams to a stop in front of him before he has time to react. Soldiers bound from the car, pistols drawn, and bark "Vhere are your papers?" When did America become this movie? The U.S. Supreme Court will take up this question this term. This article explores five recent state laws, from Indiana, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, and Missouri requiring citizens to present proof of identity, in the form of a government issued photo identification card, as a prerequisite to voting in a polling place on Election Day. In Crawford v. Marion County Elec. Bd., the Seventh Circuit upheld an Indiana election law that required virtually all voters to show a government-issued photo identification in order to vote on Election Day. On September 25, 2007, the United States Supreme Court granted the petition for a writ of certiorari in Crawford and will decide the constitutionality of these so-called "voter identification" laws. This article examines these laws under the First and Fourteenth Amendment and concludes that these statutes, although they do not impose a severe burden on the right to vote, should nonetheless be invalidated.