What: All Issues : Human Rights & Civil Liberties : Enfranchising the Disenfranchised/Voting Rights : HR 2669. (Student loans reconciliation) Procedural question on whether to require a government-issued photo ID to vote in a federal election/On the motion (2007 senate Roll Call 269)
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HR 2669. (Student loans reconciliation) Procedural question on whether to require a government-issued photo ID to vote in a federal election/On the motion
senate Roll Call 269     Jul 19, 2007
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on whether to allow an amendment by Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., that would require voters to show a government-issued identification card before being allowed to vote in a federal election.

Dole said requiring people to prove their identity before casting a vote will help to minimize voter fraud. "When a fraudulent vote is cast and counted, the vote of a legitimate voter is cancelled. This is wrong, and my amendment would help ensure that one of the hallmarks of our democracy, our free and fair elections, is protected," Dole said.

Dole's amendment was offered to a bill that would, in essence, take nearly $19 billion in federal subsidies away from student loan lenders and instead redirect that money into new student loans, among other items related to enabling more students to be able to afford college tuitions.

Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said requiring a photo identification in order to vote is a way to disenfranchise people, particularly minorities and the poor.

"If you want to suppress the minority vote, the elderly vote, the poor vote, this is exactly the way to do it. I urge a "no" vote. Many of these people do not have driver's licenses," Feinstein said.

Dole's amendment contains language that would require states to provide a free photo ID card to those in need. However, Feinstein said Dole's amendment does not provide for any funding for the program's implementation.

Feinstein then used a procedural motion to try to kill Dole's amendment as not related (or "germane") enough to the underlying student loan bill. In some cases, when portions of a bill violate certain congressional rules, the bill can be quickly defeated with these procedural motions unless the Senate votes to waive the rule in question. One of these Senate rules requires that amendments be related to the subject of the bill itself.

When Feinstein moved to have the amendment defeated on the grounds that it was not "germane" enough to the underlying bill, Dole called a vote on waiving that Senate rule for her amendment, which is what this vote was on.

By a vote of 42-54, the Senate rejected Dole's request that it waive its rules and allow her amendment to go forward. All but five Republicans present voted for to waive the rules and allow her amendment to go forward. Every Democrat present voted against the waiver motion. The waiver vote was unsuccessful, thus Dole's amendment that would have required a photo ID card to vote in a federal election was killed by the procedural motion.

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