According to a new Rasmussen report, 70 percent of Americans believe voter identification, such as a driver’s license, should be required in order to vote.
Nonetheless, Attorney General Eric Holder intends to examine new state laws that require photo ID before voting for potential racial bias.
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.
Read Heritage’s in-depth report on voter ID: “Without Proof: The Unpersuasive Case Against Voter Identification,” by von Spakovsky and Alex Ingram.
That report points to a study of 36,000 voters conducted by American University, which 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.”
It’s no wonder many Americans support voter ID laws given evidence that voter fraud continues to plague our elections. Von Spakovsky offers a few examples:
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.
What do you think? Should Americans be required to present a government-issued ID to vote?