Think that you ought to be required to show photo identification before being able to vote? If so, count yourself among the majority of Americans — 70 percent — who support the requirement. Rasmussen reports on their findings in a new poll:
Seventy percent (70%) of Likely U.S. Voters believe voters should be required to show photo identification such as a driver’s license before being allowed to cast their ballot. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 22% oppose this kind of requirement.
Notwithstanding the overwhelming support, Rasmussen notes that Attorney General Eric Holder intends to examine new state laws that require showing a photo ID before voting for potential racial bias. But as Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky explains, claims that voter ID laws result in bias are based on faulty claims, and there is evidence to prove it:
Election data in Georgia demonstrate that concern about a negative effect on the Democratic or minority vote is baseless. Turnout there increased more dramatically in 2008 — the first presidential election held after the state’s photo-ID law went into effect — than it did in states without photo ID. Georgia had a record turnout in 2008, the largest in its history — nearly 4 million voters. And Democratic turnout was up an astonishing 6.1 percentage points from the 2004 election, the fourth-largest increase of any state. The black share of the statewide vote increased from 25 percent in 2004 to 30 percent in 2008, according to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. According to Census Bureau surveys, 65 percent of the black voting-age population voted in the 2008 election, compared with only 54.4 percent in 2004, an increase of more than ten percentage points.
What’s more, surveys of registered voters show that requiring a photo ID to vote would not be a serious problem. An American University survey in Maryland, Indiana, and Mississippi found that less than one-half of 1 percent of registered voters lacked a government-issued ID, and a 2006 survey of more than 36,000 voters found that only “23 people in the entire sample—less than one-tenth of one percent of reported voters” were unable to vote because of an ID requirement.”
In August, three voters in Wake County, North Carolina, were charged with voting twice in the 2008 presidential election, apparently for President Barack Obama. In April, a member of the executive committee of the NAACP in Tunica County, Mississippi, was convicted on 10 counts of fraudulently casting absentee ballots and sentenced to five years in prison. She voted in the names of six other voters, as well as in the names of four dead voters. There are pending indictments of city council members and an ongoing grand jury investigation of ballot fraud in Troy, New York, over a 2009 primary involving the Working Families Party.
Learn more about voter ID in Without Proof: The Unpersuasive Case Against Voter Identification By Hans von Spakovsky and Alex Ingram at Heritage.org.