The Real Costs of Photo ID Laws
A closer look at the facts...
9% of Pennsylvania voters lack proper photo identification
Pennsylvania is a key swing state, and affecting the voter turn-out could dramatically affect the outcome of the Presidential election – which could potentially harm the voices of voters across the entire nation.
Silver, Nate. "Measuring the Effects of Voter Identification Laws." FiveThirtyEight. New York Times, 15 July 2012. Web. 21 Oct. 2012. <http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/measuring-the-effects-of-voter-identification-laws/>.
600,000 Voters in Texas are currently unable to vote
Supreme Court Case Pending....
Texas Photo ID Laws are considered to be the most “strict” in the country, requiring a photo id card with the same address as the one on the registration, causing thousands of college students to be unable to vote despite having photo identification.
Take a look at this chart from MSNBC:
In Wisconsin, the cost of obtaining photo identification is $28
Charging people to exercise their right to vote borders on the historically infamous poll taxes, which are unconstitutional. Many people are quick to point to the historical parallels….
"Voter Photo ID Law." Government Accountability Board. State of Wisconsin, n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://gab.wi.gov/taxonomy/term/135>.
Still not convinced? Here's a nice break down....
81 of Texas' 254 counties do not have offices where people can get the required cards
In nearly 1/3rd of the counties in Texas, voters are unable to obtain the proper identification even if they have knowledge of the new laws. The counties are among the poorest in the state, and the burden is great on voters who will face a new obstacle in voicing their opinions.
Burns, John M. "Is Texas' Voter ID Law Akin to a Poll Tax?" The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 14 July 2012. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-m-burns/is-texas-voter-id-law-aki_b_1669847.html>.
Even states that offer free photo ID still require documents that can cost up to $25
There is a hidden cost behind photo ID laws, even if legislators claim ID can be obtained for free. Placing a $25 fee on long time voters, most living below the poverty line, is a great cost to put on families.
Lee, Suevon. "Everything You Need to Know about Voter ID Laws." PBS. PBS, 30 July 2012. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/the-daily-need/everything-youve-ever-wanted-to-know-about-voter-id-laws/14358/>.
More than 1 million eligible voters fall below the federal poverty line and live more than 10 miles from their nearest ID-issuing office.
According to NYU Law’s Brennan Center, both money and accessibility prevent adults from obtaining photo id. Unfortunately, simply raising awareness of the laws is not enough to stop the negative effects of these laws.
Gaskins, Keesha, and Sundeep Iyer. "The Challenge of Obtaining Voter IdentificationPublications." The Challenge of Obtaining Voter Identification. Breenan Center for Justice, 17 July 2012. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/the_challenge_of_obtaining_voter_identification>.
Ready for this quote? It's a shocker....
“At the same time that Georgia adopted its voter ID requirement, the state legislature also doubled the minimum cost for a state-issued photo ID from $10 to $20 for a five year ID and authorized a $35 fee for a ten year photo ID card.”
State legislators in Georgia have not done any favors for citizens struggling on a budget to obtain photo identification. Doubling the cost of proper identification adds a clear fiscal motivation to the argued political bias.
Bruer, Kelley T. "Disenfranchise This: State Voter ID Laws and Their Discontents, a Blueprint for Bringing Successful Equal Protection and Poll Tax Claims." Valparaiso University. Valparaiso University Law Review, Fall 2007. Web. 21 Oct. 2012. <http://scholar.valpo.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1136&context=vulr>.
78% of African American males and 66% of African American females in Wisconsin were without a driver's license.
A Driver’s License is the most common form of photo identification, and nearly 4 out of every 5 African-American voters in the state of Wisconsin lack such identification. Laws like these can lead to a severe misrepresentation of the African-American voters in the general election.
"Voter ID Research, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee." Voter ID Research, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. University of Wisconsin, n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://www4.uwm.edu/eti/2007/VoterID.htm>.