Theoretically one of the pluses of reading British newspaper coverage of American politics is that the reporters and editors would exhibit a certain detachment from the political biases that much more easily ensnare domestic reporters. That often doesn't play out in practice, however, as today's Financial Times demonstrates with a four-paragraph brief on yesterday's Supreme Court ruling upholding an Indiana law requiring voter identification for voting.
"Supreme Court ruling gives Republicans a boost," blares the headline for reporter Patti Waldmeir's April 29 story. While Waldmeir avoided any references to the 2000 Bush v. Gore decision, she saw fit to quote Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) attacking the 6-3 decision as "a blow to what America stands for -- equal access to the polls."
Waldmeir failed to find a Republican to counter Schumer. What's more, the FT reporter failed to note that Indiana voters can always vote with a provisional ballot if they cannot or will not present a valid photo ID. From the Web page for the Indiana Secretary of State:
If you are unable or unwilling to present photo ID on Election Day, you may cast a provisional ballot. Upon casting a provisional ballot, you have until noon 10 days after the election to follow up with the County Election Board and either provide photo ID or affirm one of the law's exemptions applies to you.
What's more, under Indiana state law, voters who cannot afford an ID must be issued one by the state free-of-charge:
If you do not possess an ID that is acceptable for voting purposes, Public Law 109-2005 requires the BMV to issue an Indiana State ID Card free.