Voter Suppression Fact Sheets.pdf - Fact Sheet Voter ID...

This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 6 pages.

Fact Sheet: Voter ID Laws According to federal law, first time voters who register by mail are required to present a photo ID or copy of a current bill or bank statement. Some states generally advise voters to bring some form of photo ID. But until the 2006 election, no state ever required a voter to produce a government issued photo ID as a condition to voting. In 2006, Indiana became the first state to enact a strict photo ID law. The Indiana law was upheld two years later by the U.S. Supreme Court. The number of states with laws requiring voters to show government issued photo ID quadrupled in 2011. At least 34 states have introduced laws that would require voters to show photo identification in order to vote, and an additional four states introduced legislation requesting that voters show photo identification to register or to vote. Photo ID bills were actually signed into law in eight states: Alabama, Kansas, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and passed by referendum in Mississippi. Minnesota’s legislature has passed a bill proposing a constitutional amendment to the Minnesota Constitution that would require a government issued photo ID to vote in person (this will be voted on in the 2012 general election). Voter ID laws make it harder for millions of Americans to vote: According to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, 11% of American citizens do not currently possess a government issued photo ID. That is over 21 million citizens. In Pennsylvania, nearly 760,000 registered voters, or 9.2% of the state ʹ s 8.2 million voter base, don ʹ t own state issued ID cards. In Indiana and Georgia, states with the earliest versions of photo ID laws, about 1,300 provisional votes were discarded in the 2008 general election, later analysis revealed. The people trying to enact stricter voter ID laws say they are doing it because there is too much voter fraud. They argue that people can easily register under the names of deceased citizens, double register, or even vote without citizenship. However, Republican election officials who promised to root out voter fraud so far are finding little evidence of a widespread problem. State officials in key presidential battleground states found only a tiny fraction of the illegal voters they had expected. People who are opposed to the voter ID laws say that they place unnecessary roadblocks in the way of voters, discouraging people go to the polls. What’s more, they argue, voter ID laws disproportionately affect seniors, students, and African American, Latino, disabled, and low income voters – all of whom are more likely to vote Democratic. According to the League of Women Voters: 18 percent of elderly citizens do not have a government issued photo ID.

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture