On the eve of a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Indiana Voter ID law has become a story with a twist: One of the individuals used by opponents to the law as an example of how the law hurts older Hoosiers is registered to vote in two states.
Faye Buis-Ewing, 72, who has been telling the media she is a 50-year resident of Indiana, at one point in the past few years also
claimed two states as her primary residence and received a homestead exemption on her property taxes in both states.
Monday night from her Florida home, Ewing said she and her husband Kenneth “winter in Florida and summer in Indiana.” She admitted to registering to vote in both states, but stressed that she's never voted in Florida. She also has a Florida driver’s license, but when she tried to use it as her photo ID in the Indiana elections in November 2006, poll workers wouldn’t accept it.
According to Ewing and Ann Nucatola, public information director for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Ewing surrendered her Indiana driver¹s license in 2000, when she moved to Florida and obtained her Florida license. Nucatola said that a driver must have a Florida address to obtain a Florida driver¹s license.
“And if they own property in two states they have to get a license that says ‘valid in Florida only,’” Nucatola said.
Ewing said Monday that her license is a “regular” one that she uses in both states. She renewed it in 2007 on a Punta Gorda, Fla. address.
At the Charlotte County, Fla. voter registration office, Sandy Wharton, vote qualifying office manager, said Ewing registered to vote in Charlotte County on Sept. 18, 2002, and signed an oath that she was a Florida resident and understood that falsifying the voter application was a third-degree felony punishable by prison and a fine up to $5,000. Wharton said her office checked Ewing’s Florida residency and qualified her on Oct. 2, 2002. On Oct. 4, 2002, they mailed her Florida voter card to her, to the West Lafayette, Ind. address that Ewing gave as a mailing address.
However, Ewing didn’t vote in Florida that year, nor has she ever voted in Charlotte County, Wharton said. But, just a month after receiving her Florida voter card, she did vote in the November 2002 elections in Tippecanoe County, Ind., according to Heather Maddox, co-director of elections and registration in Tippecanoe.
So she voluntarily gave up her IN driver's license, registered to vote in FL and now wants to vote in IN because, I assume, it's more convenient for her.
Life's choices. She's registered to vote in two states, but because she voluntarily gave up her IN driver's license to keep her FL driver's license, I'd have to conclude she's made that choice and any voting she does should be in FL not IN. Thus the IN ID law worked.
The justices’ questioning indicated that a majority did not accept the challengers’ basic argument — that voter-impersonation fraud is not a problem, so requiring voters to produce government-issued photo identification at the polls is an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote.
The tenor of the argument suggested, however, that rather than simply decide the case in favor of the state, a majority of five justices would go further and rule that the challenge to the statute, the strictest voter-identification law in the country, was improperly brought in the first place.
Required ID? Heck, the technology is getting cheap enough that they should require a fingerprint scan in addition to the photo ID. (At least until the price of a DNA check goes down.) Declaring a national holiday to ease up the wait might help too, but that’s a little off topic.
People who are against voter idea never bother to talk about the perfectly legal (and easy to get) state IDs. They are the same as a valid drivers license just without the ability to drive added on. Just a birth certificate and a bill (to the address you want the ID made to) is all that is needed.
No test. Anyone can get. Perfectly valid form of ID. All states have them.