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Oklahoma voter ID law not subject to same challenge as Texas law

Oklahoma, which approved its own voter ID law in 2010, is not one of the states whose election laws and voting boundaries are subject to approval by the U.S. Justice Department
by Chris Casteel Published: March 13, 2012
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Oklahoma's voter identification law, which was in place for a statewide election for the first time last week, is not subject to the same sort of action used by the U.S. Justice Department on Monday to block Texas' voter ID statute.

Texas is one of 16 states with a history of discrimination that are completely or partially included in the federal voting rights law that was the source of the Justice Department's action; Oklahoma is not among those states.

Oklahoma's law, approved overwhelmingly as a state ballot question in 2010, requires voters to show a government-issued photo ID or a voter identification card from their county election board before voting.

Voters who don't have a photo ID or county election board card can cast a provisional ballot and sign an affidavit attesting to why it should be counted.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 2008 upheld a voter ID law from Indiana, ruling that the law, which also required photo identification, did not impose an unconstitutional burden on voters.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Oklahoma is one of 31 states with a voter identification law. The group identifies Oklahoma as one of the 16 states that does not require a photo ID since a voter identification card from a county election board is acceptable and does not have a photo.

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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