Senate Democrats were prepared for Senate Republicans to introduce an amendment that called for voters to present a photo ID at the polls, but no such amendment was ever introduced.
While Republicans did call one amendment they ended up unanimously supporting the underlying constitutional amendment that gives 17-year-olds the right to vote in a primary, if they turn 18 before the general election in November.
Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Southport, said since they supported the underlying bill, they didn’t want to “muddy up a constitutional amendment.” He said there will be other bills they may be able to amend with a voter ID requirement. Why? Because “it’s already required,” and protects voters against voter fraud, McKinney said
Democrats equated the photo ID requirement with a poll tax, saying it was unconstitutional and “incredibly burdensome.” Senate President Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn, said a photo ID requirement would discriminate against the poor, disabled, and senior citizens, who do not drive.
Secertary of State Susan Bysiewicz estimated that it would disenfranchise 500,000 voters in the state. She said there’s no need for the law here in the Nutmeg state because there hasn’t been a case of voter fraud.
Sen. Gayle Slossberg said the Supreme Court decision in the Indiana voter ID case probably brought this issue to the forefront, however, Indiana is different because they issue free photo IDs to their residents while Connecticut residents have to pay for a state issued ID.