These are very narrow exceptions. It’s reasonable as long as the burden of proof that an exempted condition exists falls on the voter and not the state.
But the groups pressed the suit, saying that some people face special obstacles to obtain the ID they need to vote under the law. The appeals panel on Tuesday told U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman to consider those arguments and to address ways for voting among certain groups:
- Voters unable to obtain acceptable photo identification because of errors on birth certificates or other documentation.
- Voters who need a credential from a government agency that won’t issue one until the state Department of Motor Vehicles first issues photo identification, which the DMV won’t do until the first credential has been obtained.
- Voters who need a document that no longer exists, such as a birth certificate issued by an agency whose records have been lost in a fire.
The appeals panel also noted that in another state with voter ID, Indiana, voters “unable to obtain a complying photo ID for financial or religious reasons may file an affidavit to that effect” and have their vote counted on a provisional basis.
Johnny Koremonos, a spokesman for the state Department of Justice, said the ruling affirms the constitutionality of the voter ID law and affects only a “narrow” group of people: those who cannot obtain a free ID through the state Department of Transportation after “reasonable efforts.”