updated 9/20/2006 4:36:14 PM ET 2006-09-20T20:36:14

The House is considering whether to require people to show a photo I-D before they can vote.

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Republican sponsors of the bill call it a common-sense way to stop fraud at the polls. Congressman Vernon Ehlers noted that people need photo identification to get on planes, buy alcohol or cash checks.

The bill requires that by 2008, individuals have to show a photo I-D before voting in federal elections.

But Democrats blasted the idea, calling it discriminatory. Congressman Steny Hoyer says the bill "is tantamount to a 21st century poll tax."

Democrats charge it will impact minorities, the poor and the elderly, groups that tend to vote Democratic.

In response to criticism that it would be a burden for poor citizens, the bill requires states to provide I-D cards free to anyone who can't afford one.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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