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US Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Voter ID Case

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments Wednesday to determine whether states can require citizens to show government-issued photo identification when they go to vote.

The case comes from the midwestern state of Indiana, which passed a strict identification law in 2005. Indiana Republicans passed the legislation on party lines, saying it would reduce voter fraud.

Democrats and other opponents argue the law addresses a type of fraud that rarely occurs. They also say it hinders poor, elderly and minority residents from voting because they are likely to not have the proper identification. Those groups tend to vote for Democrats.

The court is expected to issue a final decision in June, just months before the presidential and congressional elections.

Indiana was one of a number of states to enact a voter identification law following the 2000 presidential election, in which Republican George W. Bush defeated then-Democratic Vice President Al Gore after a long and contentious battle over votes in the southeastern state of Florida.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.