In 2010, a majority of Oklahoma voters approved a ballot measure requiring voters to show an approved ID before being allowed to vote. Supporters of the law claimed that it was needed to prevent voter fraud, but have never presented much evidence supporting the idea that this prevents any kind of known fraud.
Those opposed to the law spoke at length about how the law would disproportionately harm minorities, the elderly and the poor and be a barrier to their ability to cast a vote in elections.
Shortly after passing, the law was challenged by several Oklahoma voters in court. The question of standing, whether the person challenging the law has a reason to believe they are harmed by it, went all the way to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. When reviewing the case, the Court ruled that Delilah Christine Gentges, the person challenging the law, does have standing to sue the state over it.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled that a Tulsa County voter has legal standing to challenge the state’s Voter ID law.
The Supreme Court’s order sends the case back to Oklahoma County District Judge Lisa Davis to decide Gentges’ challenge to the law, which requires voters to prove their identity before voting.
While the lawsuit is far from resolved, this is a major step in the attempt to overturn the law. Had the Court ruled that Gentges did not have standing to sue, then the case would have taken a major blow and would have had to start again with a new client or argument.
It will likely be several more years before this issue is completely resolved, but there are many other challenges across the US with many resulting in Voter ID laws being overturned. One recent case was in Pennsylvania, in which the court ruled that state’s law to be unconstitutional.
This will be a case to watch for all people who believe in free and fair elections.