The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday backed a state requirement that voters provide a photo ID at the polls, the latest decision in a nationwide battle between voting rights advocates who say the laws are aimed at suppressing turnout and conservatives who say the protections are needed to prevent voter fraud. The court upheld a lower court ruling 8 to 0 with one justice recusing. “The Oklahoma Voter ID Act is a reasonable procedural regulation to ensure that voters meet identity and residency qualifications and does not cause an undue burden,” according to the 8-0 ruling, with one justice recusing, which upholds a lower court ruling in the lawsuit.
The law, approved by voters in 2010, took effect in July 2011 and requires a voter to provide a federal or state government issued ID that includes a photograph and an expiration date that is after the election in which a person is attempting to vote. It also allows a voter to present an ID card issued by the county election board, or to cast a provisional ballot that would be counted after the person’s identity is confirmed following an election.
The lawsuit by Delilah Christine Gentges of Tulsa was filed in 2012, alleging it creates a “new barrier” for voters.
A phone number listed for Gentges was disconnected and an attorney for her did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment, but had previously said he believes the law would prevent voters from casting their ballots.