By Suevon Lee

Are Voter ID Laws Here To Stay?

December 14, 2012 5:01 pm Category: Memo Pad 5 Comments A+ / A-
Are Voter ID Laws Here To Stay?

by Suevon Lee, ProPublica.

Voter ID laws were one of the most contentious issues of the past election season. (Here is everything you need to know about the laws.) Proponents insisted IDs should be required at polling places in order to thwart fraud. But there has been little evidence of such fraud and Democrats argued that the laws were meant to suppress voters.

The impact of the laws on this past election isn’t clear. But one thing is clear: There are still pushes for the laws in many states.

So what happens next?

We’ve rounded up the places that could see voter ID in future elections, the status of laws still pending and what effect, if any, this year’s pushback against voter ID will have going forward.

Just to refresh, which states actually have photo ID laws?

Four states require voters to present a valid form of photo identification in order to cast a regular, not provisional, ballot: Indiana, Georgia, Kansas, and Tennessee. The latter two phased in the law just this year; Indiana has had it since 2006 and Georgia, 2008.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania, battleground for one of the fiercest disputes over the issue this year, required poll workers to request ID from voters — though voters had no obligation to present one.

And New Hampshire permitted voters without photo ID to still cast a regular ballot, as long as they signed a form affirming they were who they said they were.

So, there weren’t actually many places in the country where photo IDs were required to vote?

Correct. As we’ve laid out before, due largely to court rulings and robust opposition from the Justice Department, newly passed voter ID laws didn’t play nearly as big a role in the election this year as they otherwise might have. (In Minnesota, a ballot measure proposing voter ID was defeated after failing to get majority support.)

Could that change next year?

Yes. South Carolina and Pennsylvania have both passed voter ID laws. Judges suspended them for the past election, ruling there was too little time to implement the new law without the risk of disenfranchising voters. But the laws will be in effect next time around.

Pennsylvania’s voter ID law is set to take effect in time for the state’s May 2013 local primaries.

In other states, it isn’t so clear.

After its voter ID law was rejected by federal judges in August, Texas pledged to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. That appeal may have to wait, though, until the Court rules on the Constitutional merits of a special provision of the Voting Rights Act next June.

Voter ID laws in Mississippi and Alabama are also on hold, awaiting federal review.

Where else have lawmakers expressed interest in voter ID laws?

In lots of states. A Montana state representative has proposed a bill that would restrict valid voter ID to Montana driver’s licenses, state ID cards for non-drivers and tribal ID cards. (Not even passports would qualify.)

Wisconsin’s incoming state assembly leader and Missouri Republicans want to push through voter ID laws via Constitutional amendment. Iowa’s secretary of state, who’s been aggressive about targeting voter fraud, is also still pushing for an ID law.

In North Carolina, the newly elected Republican governor has voiced support for a voter ID law to “protect the integrity of the voting system.”

“I don’t want Chicago politics to come to North Carolina,” incoming Gov. Pat McCrory told the Charlotte Observer shortly before the election.

In Nevada, Democratic secretary of state Ross Miller doesn’t want to actually require voters to bring photo identification to the polls, but proposes connecting the state’s voter rolls with photos from the state Department of Motor Vehicles so a poll worker can compare a voter name with an image.

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Are Voter ID Laws Here To Stay? Reviewed by on . by Suevon Lee, ProPublica. Voter ID laws were one of the most contentious issues of the past election season. (Here is everything you need to know about the law by Suevon Lee, ProPublica. Voter ID laws were one of the most contentious issues of the past election season. (Here is everything you need to know about the law Rating:

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Comments

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6LV46JYK2SEXSXEOTFLGQ37FAA GEORGE

    IF YOU MUST HAVE AN ID TO VOTE, THEN THE STATE MUST ISSUE ANYONE AN ID FREE OF CHARGE. HEY MAYBE THE DEPT OF MOTOR VEHICLES CAN DO IT OR MAYBE THE REGISTER OF VOTERS. AND IF SOMEONE IS VERY OLD AND CANNOT PRODUCE THE USUAL DOCUMENTS (I.E. BIRTH CERTIFICATE ETC) THEN PROOF THAT THEY HAVE “EXISTED” SHOULD BE ENOUGH. PROOF LIKE THEY HAVE VOTED FOR THE PAST 50 YEARS. I AM SURE SOME REPUBLICANS WOULD SAY OH NO ILLEGALS WILL VOTE…BUT LIKE WHAT BUS LOADS OF EDERLY PEOPLE ARE GOING TO SHOW UP WITH NOTHING BUT ILLEGALS???? I AM SURE MOST WOULD HAVE SS CARDS AND WHATEVER, SO THOSE WHO WOULD BE ISSUED ID’S WITHOUT THE USUAL DOCUMENTS WOULD BE FAR AND FEW AND COULD NEVER INFLUENCE AN ELECTION!!!!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7DKWSXHQIDBW5PUAPZ2HZAYYUY Baron Cormac

      George, you don’t have to yell. The problem is with the ID issuance offices. Many of them are DMV offices, and if you cannot drive, most of them are not on publc transit lines. Add to that the time it takes to process through and you spend the better part of a day there, unless you are one of the first in line.

      • amarquez647

        I can take a bus with my medicare card. Maby the words “Citizen’ or ‘Resident’ for non citizen with their address could be all that is needed for a senior to vote. The majority of us if we live long enough will have one.

  • nobsartist

    Good. Since republiCONs pushed those thru its time to put in place new laws to eliminate gerry mandering by allowing voting districts to have only four sides, new voting machines that eliminate electronics and provide a receipt and specific rules governing when WE are allowed to vote, consistent thru out the United States.

    Also, the feds should prosecute congress idiot mccotter and house speaker bolger in michigan for REAL voter fraud since the useless attorney general refuses to do so.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B6RROC4IUESHT322QS5VJVPYRM Lynda

    With the rush to set up voter ID Laws I can’t help but ask does the GOP favor national ID issued at birth?

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