House passes photo ID bill

Amid heated partisan rhetoric, the House yesterday passed a controversial bill that would mandate the use of photo identification in federal elections, 228-196.

The legislation, which was introduced by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), would require voters to provide government-issued photo IDs before voting in federal elections, amending the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Administration Committee, said, "Those impacted by H.R.
4844 include the least among us - the elderly, disabled, the poor and ethnic minorities. And it would clearly have a disproportionate impact on women, and many students."

House Administration Committee Chairman Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.) stated,
"Every day millions of Americans show a picture ID to pay by check, board a plane, or buy alcohol or tobacco. Surely the sanctity of the ballot warrants as much protection as these other activities."

Only seven lawmakers crossed party lines on the vote, as Reps. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.), Jim Marshall (D-Ga.), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), and Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) backed the bill and Reps. Charles Bass (R-N.H.), Jeb Bradley (R-N.H.), and Don Young (R-Alaska) voted against it.

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