Idaho Joins the Ranks of the Anti-Real ID States

April 11, 2008 12:00 am

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Governor Otter signed into law legislation prohibiting Idaho from complying

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WASHINGTON – This week, Idaho Governor Butch Otter signed into law legislation that prohibits the Idaho Department of Transportation from complying with the Real ID Act of 2005, a federal law requiring the states to implement a national identification card. The bill landed on the governor’s desk after receiving overwhelming bipartisan support in both the Idaho House and Senate, not receiving a single vote against passage. Idaho now joins Georgia, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Washington as states that have passed laws prohibiting compliance with Real ID.

“Governor Otter heeded the will of the people this week when he rejected the invasive and problematic Real ID Act,” said Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU Technology and Liberty Program. “Idaho overwhelmingly rejected the Department of Homeland Security’s national ID program, with not a single legislator voting to support Real ID. With this week’s events, Idaho sends Congress a clear signal that states do not want the federal government mandating how they issue state identification. Real ID continues to face strong opposition from the states.”

The states’ response to the passage of Real ID in 2005 has been steady. In 2007, 17 states passed either resolutions or statutes against the program, including those that opted out of it altogether, and new legislation is pending across the country in 2008.

“Governor Otter deserves praise for standing up to the Department of Homeland Security and putting Idaho on the map alongside other anti-Real ID states,” said Hannah Saona, legislative counsel for the ACLU of Idaho. “The people of Idaho don’t want our personal information up for grabs in some huge federal database that would surely invite identity theft.”

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