The subject of voter ID laws is one of the sources of contentious debate in our modern political arena. Here’s everything you need to know about the pivotal set of policies which could help decide future elections.
What do voters think?
According to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey, the vast majority of likely U.S. voters believe that some form of photo identification should be required before voters are able to cast a ballot.
According to the survey results, which polled 1,000 likely voters:
- 75% of likely U.S. voters believe photo identification should be required to vote.
- 89% of Republicans support voter identification requirements.
- 60% of Democrats support voter identification requirements.
- 77% of politically unaffiliated voters support identification requirements.
When it comes to the notion that voter identification laws are discriminatory,
- 60% of voters believe that requiring photo identification at the polls doesn’t discriminate against black voters and other minorities, while 31% believe that such requirements do discriminate. 10% said that they are not sure.
- 51% of Democrats believe that voter identification laws are discriminatory.
- 79% of Republicans believe that voter identification laws are not discriminatory.
- 67% of unaffiliated voters believe that voter identification is not discriminatory.
Categorizing those surveyed by race,
- 74% of white voters say that photo identification should be required when voting.
- 69% of black voters say that photo identification should be required when voting.
- 82% of other minorities say that photo identification should be required when voting.
When categorizing by age, voters under the age of 40-years-old support voter identification laws more than older voters. In addition, “Voters who strongly approve of Joe Biden’s job performance as president were most likely to say voter ID laws are discriminatory.”
According to Rasmussen Reports, “Support for voter ID laws has actually increased since 2018, when 67% said voters should be required to show photo identification such as a driver’s license before being allowed to vote.”
This amounts to an 8% increase in just under three years.
Which states have some form of voter identification law?
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “A total of 36 states have laws requesting or requiring voters to show some form of identification at the polls, 35 of which are in force in 2020.”
“The remaining 14 states use other methods to verify the identity of voters. Most frequently, other identifying information provided at the polling place, such as a signature, is checked against information on file,” the post continues.
Here are the 35 states which have some form of voter identification policy in place, and what they require:
Strict photo identification required: Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Wisconsin.
Strict non-photo identification required: Arizona, North Dakota, Ohio.
Non-strict photo identification required: Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas.
Non-strict non-photo identification required: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia.
The following states do not require voter identification: California, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Wyoming.
What is the argument in favor of voter identification laws?
According to Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation:
“Those states [that have implemented voter ID laws] understand that the United States has an unfortunate history of voter fraud and that requiring individuals to authenticate their identity at the polls is a fundamental and necessary component of ensuring the integrity of the election process.
Every individual who is eligible to vote should have the opportunity to do so. It is equally important, however, that the votes of eligible voters are not stolen or diluted by a fraudulent or bogus vote cast by an ineligible or imaginary voter. The evidence from academic studies and actual turnout in elections is also overwhelming that—contrary to the shrill claims of opponents—voter ID does not depress the turnout of voters, including minority, poor, and elderly voters.”
What is the argument against voter identification laws?
According to the American Civil Liberties Union:
“Voter ID laws deprive many voters of their right to vote, reduce participation, and stand in direct opposition to our country’s trend of including more Americans in the democratic process. Many Americans do not have one of the forms of identification states acceptable for voting. These voters are disproportionately low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Such voters more frequently have difficulty obtaining ID, because they cannot afford or cannot obtain the underlying documents that are a prerequisite to obtaining government-issued photo ID card.”
How is H.R. 1 relevant?
As the Daily Wire wrote, “On March 4, House Democrats quietly passed a sweeping ‘voter rights’ bill called H.R. 1, also known as ‘For the People Act.’”
“The 800-page bill claims to work ‘To expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and implement other anti-corruption measures for the purpose of fortifying our democracy, and for other purposes.’”
Specifically, it aims to outlaw voter identification requirements at the federal level, forcing states to comply.
“Criticizing supposed excessive ‘onerous voter identification requirements,’ with minority communities ‘disproportionately burdened’ by such ‘restrictions,’ the ‘For the People Act’ aims to remove many such provisions which would require a voter to prove their identity.
In the context of absentee ballots, which are already targets of criticism regarding reliability, the bill claims that ‘states and localities have eroded access to the right to vote through restrictions on the right to vote including excessively onerous voter identification requirements,’ and that a state therefore ‘may not require an individual to provide any form of identification as a condition of obtaining an absentee ballot.’
The danger here in terms of fraud is obvious, with unsolicited ballots already distributed by several states. With no legislative method of verifying the identity of the recipient and/or the voter who returns the ballot — if it is returned at all — there is no system in place to ensure that such ballots are cast legitimately. Such a process also raises the risk of ballot harvesting and ballot tampering.”
Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.