In 2005, the voters of Albuquerque passed an amendment to the city charter requiring photo identification at polling locations in all municipal elections to prevent voter fraud. The ACLU of New Mexico along with the League of Women Voters of Albuquerque, the Sage Council and the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness filed a lawsuit claiming that the statute created an undue burden on the right to vote in violation of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause. The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff’s Equal Protection claim but not the First Amendment Claim. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the judgment of the District Court and held that, however inconvenient, the voter identification requirement did not create a substantial burden on the right to vote and that the city’s justification for the statute was sufficient based on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board. Former FEC Commissioner Hans von Spakovsky discusses the case.
- Hon. Hans A. von Spakovsky, visiting legal scholar of the Heritage Foundation and former member of the Federal Election Commission