In truth, voter fraud is extremely rare. A study by the Brennan Center for Justice reviewed careful studies of voter fraud and found that only some 0.0003 percent to 0.0025 percent of votes were fraudulently cast by individuals falsely impersonating a voter. The report concluded that any American is more likely to be struck by lightning than to impersonate another voter. Other studies have found that most cases of alleged fraud are false. One of these studies focused on states where fraud was alleged to be prevalent and found not a single conviction for voter fraud over a five-year period. The state government of New Hampshire identified over 94,000 possible cases of duplicate registration among New Hampshire citizens who voted in 2016. After a year of review, it concluded that the vast majority of these cases were not actual cases of duplicate registration, requiring further investigation of only 51 cases.
Critics of voter ID laws claim the laws are unnecessary given the extreme rarity of actual voter fraud. In addition they suppress voter turnout and are discriminatory because poorer people and minority voters are less likely to have the required identification. Studies have shown that strict voter ID laws invariably disenfranchise—that is, take away the votes of—far more people than the fraudulent voters they catch. Several states have passed voter ID laws, but they have come under legal scrutiny because of allegations that they are a form of voter suppression.