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Friday, September 30, 2016

What Effect, If Any, Did Voter ID Laws Have On The Election?

What Effect, If Any, Did Voter ID Laws Have On The Election?

by Suevon Lee, ProPublica.

Elaine Schmottlach has been a ballot clerk in the small southeastern New Hampshire town of Nottingham — population, 4,785 — for the last 25 years. Yet when it came time for her to vote on Nov. 6, she had to show valid photo identification as required under a new state law.

Schmottlach refused and submitted a challenged voter affidavit instead.

“My view is this is a horrendous law,” she told ProPublica. “I absolutely detest it. I hated having to ask my best friend to show an ID to prove that she is who she is.”

Schmottlach’s act of defiance didn’t have much effect — this time. Her vote still counted, she wasn’t handed a provisional ballot and she wasn’t required to return to the poll with ID. But that could change in future elections under New Hampshire’s plans to phase in the new law.

In the months leading up to the election, voter ID laws were seen as the biggest threat to voter turnout: More than 30 states have passed such laws, which require voters to provide some type of identification at the polls (see our previous explainer).

But many of these laws, particularly the ones requiring strict photo identification, met setbacks ahead of the election. A state judge ruled in October that Pennsylvania’s law couldn’t be implemented this election, while federal judges refused to allow similar measures take effect this year  in Texas and South Carolina.

A week before the election, the Brennan Center for Justice concluded that “for the overwhelming majority of those whose rights were most at risk, the ability to vote will not be at issue on November 6.”

Experts agree that much-assailed voter ID laws were less an issue in this election than limited early-voting hours, lengthy ballots and precincts shuttered after Hurricane Sandy. These issues contributed to long wait times, prompting some to simply throw up their hands and give up on voting.

“Of all the issues relating to voting rules, voter ID got the most attention but was probably the least significant, mainly because we didn’t have it in Pennsylvania,” said Rick Hasen, a professor at the University of California-Irvine who specializes in election law.

In Pennsylvania, where some feared the state’s continuing efforts to advertise the new law would confuse voters, election officials were required to ask voters for ID , but were not allowed to prevent anyone from casting a ballot for failure to produce one.

“On November 6, it was a dry run just as it was in the (April 24) primary,” said Ellen Kaplan, vice president and policy director at the Committee of Seventy, a non-partisan voter education group in Philadelphia. “We don’t know how many people might have been confused and didn’t show up. Among the people that did show up, there was certainly some confusion out there. But I wouldn’t characterize it as so overwhelming that it disrupted the voting process.”

In December, a state judge is expected to hear arguments to permanently block the controversial law.

  • tax payer

    I always show my ID, when I vote, so how hard is it to take it out of your wallet and let them know you are the person casting a vote. I am proud I can vote, so be an American and don’t cry because they ask you for an ID. An ID is needed to do many things such as cashing your Welfare Check or getting your Food Stamps Application filled out, so you have to show your ID and never complain one bit.

    • Ed

      Well, none of the things you cited are protected by that little document called Our Constitution!

    • WhutHeSaid

      Just curious: Do they have special Bigot IDs in your state? I mean, does your ID have a picture of you wearing your KKK hood? If so, how can they tell it’s really you?

      • tax payer

        I am not a Bigot just someone that cares to show my ID. Bigots hate people that are different and that’s not me. You wouldn’t be allowed to enter and vote, if you presented yourself in a Hood because of the violence happening in this country, so what you say makes no sense. There are too many crybabies in this country and I don’t mean small infants. You live in this country, so why not show your ID, when someone asks you to prove it’s really you.

        • WhutHeSaid

          Not only are you a bigot, but you’re a lying bigot. Your post was all about racist dog-whistle rhetoric and had nothing to do with any other subject. Why do you bigots always think that you are clever? If you actually were clever you wouldn’t be a bigot. And why are you always cowards? Why can’t you just admit what you are and dare the world to deal with it? Instead you lie, whine, and snivel with racist code-words on subjects that only racists care about.

          • tax payer

            I am sorry you don’t have the brains to understand what you read, so I am only going to comment that I am not going to respond to you anymore because I don’t like to communicate with people that don’t understand anything. If someone wants to be a Bigot they have the Right in this country to be one as you have the Right to not agree to what is mentioned by others. This is a place where we can comment and speak our mind, but to have to accept people like you is not what I expected, so enjoy your little world and don’t expect a response from me because from today on it not going to happen. I am just a person that expresses what comes to my mind and that’s the way it is in this country.

          • WhutHeSaid

            … whined the cowardly bigot as he ran off like a thief in the night.

          • I’am from the largest state in this country, we don’t use I.D. to vote, we register with no I.D. Since the sixties I’ve been involved in voter reg. in several form as volunteer reg. a paid reg. and ran voter reg drive I was the payee. voter reg. fraud happen all the time, people you hire will cheat they copy names out of the phone books,they make up names and add. Two republican got in trouble this election cycle, for voter reg. fraud which is illegal. no I.D. card can stop that. and those fraudulent voter don’t vote because they are made up. I voted by mail who check my I.D. Some fraud happen with mailed in ballots, someone moves or die a family member might vote for them, I.D wont help that. The other fraud take place after the poles close, the pole workers could fill all the ballots of the people that didn’t show up, Two weeks ago a republican women from Oregon got caught on video filling in republican candidate when people choose not to vote in all of the race on the ballots, I don’t no how I.D. would help that. The last big fraud are mail in ballots to nursing home, who fill those out, how would I.D. help? About the dog whistle food stamp and welfare checks most of the people on public asst. have some form of I.D. it just not state issued, black, white, or brown most of these poor people never vote. WHY IS IT THE SAME ( RIGHT WING) THAT FOUGHT US ABOUT EVERY CIVIL, VOTING AND RIGHT TO LIVE AND WORK OR THE SAME FOLK THAT ARE INVOLVE IN THIS ROUND OF VOTER SUPPRESSION? A STATE COLLEGE I.D. CARD NO GOOD BUT GUN LIC. IS GOOD TO VOTE NO BIAS YOU SAID.

          • Eleanor

            Having been involved in politics a couple of decades ago with the Democratic party, I can say that voter fraud was well and alive back and in high fashion in the left. People were paid to vote for deomocrats weither in cash or booze. These people were picked up at home by Dem drivers, taken to polls and then returned home where they were Paid. Threats were given to opponents, and times were the Repub candidate withdrew because of this. This was going on in local state and fed elections and still happen today, hate to say. Both sides do whatever is necessary to get their candidate elected. So let’s just accept the fact that both parties are guilty of such and let it go at that. I still want to keep the law of photo Id at voter polls.

    • It’s not so much showing an ID as it is obtaining a suitable ID to show. For many years I couldn’t obtain a State ID because one of the requirements to obtain one was showing a birth certificate. My birth records were destroyed in New Orleans by Katrina. If the GOP is really not trying to suppress the vote they should expand the list of suitable ID’s.

    • ralphkr

      Very interesting, tax payer (talk about a non-descriptive ID. I’ve never met anyone in the US who did not pay taxes other than some homeless kids living under a bridge and a couple of EXTREMELY wealthy people who took advantage of all available loopholes). I must say that in over 5 decades of voting in 4 states that I was only asked for ID once and that time I just let my jacket fall open enough so they could see my sidearm and that was ID enough. I cash checks at 4 different banks and they have NEVER asked for ID but sometimes they have asked me if the name on check is mine when they can’t decipher my endorsement. I can’t say anything about Welfare or Food Stamps since the closest thing to that I have ever had were the ration stamps during WW2 and I am sure that no ID was shown for them as my state did not issue drivers licenses until AFTER the Korean “Police Action”. I have been asked for ID once in the last 5 years and that was when I went in to get a new Drivers License and the clerk asked for my old license so she could photocopy it and punch a hole in my old license. I am sure that I would have no problem getting anything without any other ID because I carry my NRA membership card plus… just look at my picture (Avatar)… Are YOU ready to tick off Santa Claus (especially, an armed one with a short fuse).

  • Personally, it didn’t effect this election at all. The Republicans were attepting every dirty underhanded trick in the book and they all backfired! God don’t like ugly! The Repbulicans had it all planned out they were goig to make Obama an one term presiden; the man above had a better plan and his word overruled!

  • The unintended consequence of GOP voter suppression efforts was that it energized minorities like never before. Record numbers of African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos went to the polls, with devastating consequences to the GOP. Hopefully, they learned their lesson and understand that the way forward does not include the marginalization or disenfranchisement of large segments of our society.

    • Eleanor

      Why are you so against voter ID.As an Ameerican citizen, i have no problem of showing a picture ID. We used to have to show our voter registration card. Was of no consequence to me. I am an American and proud to show proof of such. If you have a problem with it, perhaps you are the one with a problem. Voter ID is not suppression of votes, It just helps curtail voter fraud.

      • Eleanor, what you fail to understand and perhaps accept is that a lot of legitimate minority and Democratic voters were having their voting rights suppressed and disenfranchised in so many ways by the Republican party. Voter ID was only the tip of the iceberg. Republican-controlled state legislatures passed stupid laws expressly to curb, minimize and discourage Democratic voters. From reducing early voting days to having voters in Democratic precincts stand in line for many hours to vote to providing few poll workers and voting machines for Deomcratic precincts was all designed by Republicans to dilute their voting power. I don’t have much of a problem with having to produce an ID but, once again, what you fail to understand is how difficult it can be for some poor people to acquire one especially when they don’t have a driver’s license or not even a car. Some Republican state legislatures have passed very stringent laws requiring several pieces of document just to get an ID. In my home state of Georgia, one has to have an original copy of their birth certificate, a social security card and two bills with one’s name and the exact address on it. Some poor, elder and disabled people may not have all of these items. I’m a registered voter and I don’t have all of them. The cost of getting a new birth certificate might be prohibitive for some people, especially those living on very tight incomes. Have you ever tried to get a new social security card and discovered how difficult that is to do? I have and believe me, it ain’t easy!!!

        • Eleanor

          And yes, I have had to get a new S.S. card and had no problem. Of course, I keep all correspondence from state and federal agencies regarding such things as driver’s license renewals, copies of marriage license, copies of husbands birth and death certificates, etc including such things such as deposits for utilities, cable,phone, cell phone, and car maintainence and repairs. I learned the importance of record keeping years ago, and found it was of greatest importance when we owned a small business, so I have not encountered problems of S.S.cards, Birth,marriage,death certificates. Yes it is a pain in the azz, but has saved my azz in several instances. Even 15 years after my husgands death, having kept copies of his death certificates has come in handy to resolve debts, changing old savings accounts to my name only. Guess I think people should keep important papers in a safe place and know where they are, even though I have to write myself a note and post it as to where what is. Most older people do have family that should be keeping up with these things, too. A birth certificate is less than $20 in Ky. Ind.,Ill.,Oh., and being on a limited income, I have to rearrange my budget to pay for such as this. My monies are rearranged every month with unexpected expenses of just daily living. We are the poor people you refer to, have been all our lives, but managed somehow to follow our laws for voting.

      • Eleanor what voter fraud are talking about? There are numerous cases of election fraud documentated by the GOP and almost no voter fraud over a ten year period. Can’t you at least admit this is a technique used to supress votes or are you that partisian?

    • 13observer

      of course they voted in record numbers……..where else were they going to get continued welfare and the promise of AMNESTY for law breaking illegal aliens!

  • They are breaking the law lets put them in jail. We have rights.

  • Look up Article 5 in The Constitution.
    “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments,
    “OR”, on the Application……
    The citizens of this country can add Amendments to the Constitution without Congress having anything to do with it.
    They set it up that way for a reason. When they out of control, we can reign them in. They knew it was eventually going to happen, they just didn’t know when.

    Congress term limits.
    A Federal standard for ID proof before a person can vote.
    There’s allot more we need to deal with, like limiting donations to any fund related in any way to any person in, or running for any office in the government of the United States.. The only donation of any kind can only be from a citizen of the United States.
    It’s only a start, we have to start somewhere.

  • I think everyone should show a photo ID, just it should be free to everyone legally able to vote.

    • Alfred, have you seen the ease with which under-21 pubers, especially around college campuses, ar obtaining fake I.D.’s?

    • Along with everything required to get this voter ID.

      • Eleanor

        If you don’t have the papers to prove you are who you are to get a photo ID, then it becomes a question of your being legal to vote, as far as I am concerned. When my older sister had to get a picture ID to write checks at WalMart, Dollar General, IGA, etc. she had to have proof birth certificate, and a bill (she used utility bill) recieved at your home address. People you can get a birth certificate from the public health dept, dept. of birth records at any state capital office. Local health depts, will be glad to help you. I have gotten B.C. for all 4 of my children as well as my late husband. Cost about half of what a six pack or a couple packs of cigs cost., so this is not a hardship. If you are retired or on any S.S., you had to have a B.C. to get it so what happened to it now???I really think it is a great idea and support it for every state.

    • Sorry, Alfred, ID is not free in some Republican-controlled states!

  • moderationpreferred

    Where I live we have had to show photo ID for I can’t remember how many years but it has been a lot (haven’t bothered to think about it). Everyone knows and brings it. You need ID for just about everything in a large urban area so most people here seem to have at least state ID and yeah we have large minority populations. Up until this election I figured it was a federal rule, not local.

    With pictures being put on debit and credit cards and loads of other types of cards why don’t they just put one on your voter’s registration card when you register to vote? Of course you’d have to get a new one about every 10 years as you age.

    • Why can’t these ” loads of other types of cards” be acceptable for voting?

  • The VOTING PROCESS must never be allowed to be a significant determinant of outcome; the escalation of importance of the voting process (not necessarily an imagined thing) is a PREMONITORY SYMPTOM of a declining Democracy.

  • onedonewong

    It wasn’t effective enough. In many states the level of voter fraud were at record levels. In Philly over 20 precincts report o votes for Romney, in Ohio and Michigan there were thousands of over votes i many counties. More people voted than were registered to vote.
    Then we had 4 states that didn’t get their absentee ballots to our troops in time and in another case a plane carrying the absentee ballots to the troops crashed and once again the troops couldn’t vote.
    This years voting was on par with Haiti’s and Kenya’s and Venezuela

    • Suppression of the minority vote is real………. whether you want to admit it or not. Gerrymandering, the watering down of heavy liberal areas is what republican legislatures do to maintain control. These tactics are unheard of in democratic legislatures (state). Voter ID is the new focus, …… Most minorities are born, live, and die in the same area due to economics, a lot of them do not vote but when you decide to deny them a right that should be a gaurantee, that in itself is a cause for mobilization. That is why they stood in long lines, when the voteing machines were scarce, made sure they had the required ID. The way I see it, if you’ve been voteing your hold adult life then all of a sudden somebody is trying to deny you the vote, you react. The tactic backfired on the republicans. As a retired military citizen, I fought so that people in far away lands could vote……. and now you are trying to deny a person the right to vote even if you know that the person is a valid citizen, could have lived next door to you for 30 or more yrs but for some reason cannot find the documentation that you ask for, thats diabolical my friend.

      • onedonewong

        Suppression of the White conservative vote has been going on since LBJ. You only need to look at this years election to see where military voters didn’t receive their absentee ballots on time to vote from 6 states and those ballots that were sent in a timely manner were lost and once again our troops in Afghanistan and other countries couldn’t vote.
        Couple that with white voters who work long hours or 2 jobs and can’t get to the [polls before or during work. Something the dem base never has to worry about since they don’t pay taxes or work
        The last time the Supreme Court looked at gerrymandering it has to do with BLACK districts that had been carved our by democrat legislatures which they ruled water down the white vote and made them redraw the lines.
        What do you mean they can’t find the documentation necessary to vote???? The Dem base lives off the producers of this country. They can’t receive a welfare check food stamps, SS payment or govt payment of any kind unless they have a bank account. In order to have a back account you need a picture ID so before you whine maybe its time to turn off the State Run Media and READ you’ll find its gratifying and that yo will actual learn something

  • onedonewong

    It wasn’t effective enough. In many states the level of voter fraud were at record levels. In Philly over 20 precincts report o votes for Romney, in Ohio and Michigan there were thousands of over votes i many counties. More people voted than were registered to vote.
    Then we had 4 states that didn’t get their absentee ballots to our troops in time and in another case a plane carrying the absentee ballots to the troops crashed and once again the troops couldn’t vote.
    This years voting was on par with Haiti’s and Kenya’s and Venezuela

    • Saying it doesn’t make it so. Cite examples.

      Oh, that’s right. You can’t ’cause you done made them up.

      Please get off this liberal website and spread your lies where they belong, in a right wing snake pit.

      How do you even bear to look at yourself, wong?

      • onedonewong

        I provided snippets from major newspapers, Its a shame that you can read

  • We’re well on our way to terminating the scared old Republicans who recently dominated politics in NH.

    Bill O’Brien, you’re next!

  • Eleanor

    The problem I have with people protesting voter ID is this:::If the President of the USA had to show a picture ID to vote, why shouldn’t every American required to do the same????Voter suppression happened in 2008 by the Black Panthers, but this was swept away. Now just having a picture ID is voter suppression???I just don’t understand. The president has to do it, so should every citizen who expects to vote.

  • foot814

    what he said plus ! (who ? oh yhea domiick vila) the plus is that when you try to take something from people they often cherish it more and see it’s value.

  • I don’t have any problem with Voter ID laws. All that would be required is that at birth or naturalization of citizenship, every US citizen by issued a National ID card, that would identify that person by name, photo, biometrics and possibly DNA identifiers. oh wait…

  • real talk

    There is no shame in having voter ID laws what kind of fool are you to make a statement like that it has been law of the land a long time and should always be that way, you sound liberal to me you are probably one of those reporters that like to champion liberals even when they sound stupid like your statement.

  • Lydia777

    Both parties were at fault for not asking for Voter I.D. laws which makes voter fraud, so easy to do. In the states that had voter fraud I.D. laws, Obama had not won any of those states. In the states with no voter I.D. laws, there were so many people committing voter Fraud, and I hope these people are caught and made to pay for their lying scams.There just maybe a new party on the horizon, called the Libertarian Party. I think that everyone should want Voter I.D. Laws, and I also think that the government should make the Voter I.D. Cards and send them out, but Obama could not win an election on his own merits, so he’ll never let that happen.