Just a reminder, if you are thinking about Voter ID Laws

Written on 28Jan2017, after I was asked about VoterID Laws. This was mostly copied (partially verbatim) from the ACLU's Voter ID Legislation Fact Sheet, and I added some Minnesota-specific details. This post came to be because someone was asking if anyone had a good reason why Voter ID Laws are bad, and I found out that simply linking them to the ACLU's website would not work.

1. Obtaining ID is expensive. In Minnesota, a State ID (not even a driver's license) starts out at $19.25, and then there are fees for different kinds of payment, fees if you need to get duplicate forms because yours are missing or damaged due to time/theft/accident/other incidents, and so forth.

2. Obtaining documents to get a ID cost money. In Minnesota, birth certificates are $26.

3. It can be extremely difficult to get to a government office to get a new ID for those who are disabled, elderly, or live in a rural area without access to transportation.

4. The Government Accountability Office has found that strict Voter ID laws reduce voter turnout: http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665966.pdf

5. Minority voters disproportionately lack ID, generally for the above reasons.

6. States exclude forms of ID in a discriminatory manner. Examples:
A. Texas allows concealed weapons permits for voting, but does not accept student ID cards.
B. Until its voter ID law was struck down, North Carolina prohibited public assistance IDs and state employee ID cards, which are disproportionately held by Black voters (and those are government-issued forms of identification).
C. Wisconsin permitted active duty military ID cards, but prohibited Veterans Affairs ID cards for voting (another government-issued form of identification).

7. A Caltech/MIT study found that minority voters are more frequently questioned about ID than are white voters. http://vote.caltech.edu/documents/84/vtp_wp59.pdf

8. Since 2000, there were only 31 credible allegations of voter impersonation – the only type of fraud that photo IDs could prevent – during a period of time in which over 1 billion ballots were cast. https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/a-comprehensive-investig…/…

9. So-called cases of in-person impersonation voter “fraud” are almost always the product of an elections worker or a voter making an honest mistake, and that even these mistakes are extremely infrequent.

10. Voter ID laws are a waste of taxpayer dollars. Examples:
A. Texas spent nearly $2 million on voter education and outreach efforts following passage of its Voter ID law.
B. Indiana spent over $10 million to produce free ID cards between 2007 and 2010.


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