Photo ID: “Birther Bills” For All?

Advancement Project: <read>

According to Advancement Project, this reactionary trend is part of the largest legislative effort to scale back voting rights since Reconstruction: nearly two-thirds of state across the nation introduced onerous voter identification bills this year. The report looks to the implications of this broad effort.

Among the report’s key findings:

  • Proposals to require strict forms of photo ID to vote have been introduced in 32 states.
  • This year’s proposals are the strictest voter identification proposals ever considered by states. Most severely limit forms of acceptable identification voters may show and make scant allowances for those unable to obtain the specific form of identification required by the law, even if they have other forms of ID that can verify their identities at the polls.
  • The photo ID proposals are part of larger coordinated efforts by conservative and Tea-Party backers, designed to reduce the voting strength of voters of color who saw record turnout in 2008, in advance of the 2012 elections.
  • Voter impersonation, the only voting irregularity that could be addressed with photo ID, is exceedingly rare. The proposals do nothing to address other voting problems that are known to occur.
  • Studies show that approximately 11 percent of voters – about 21 million people – lack or cannot obtain a current state-specific photo ID. African American voters are twice as likely to lack current state ID.
  • Photo ID proposals will cost cash-strapped states up to $20 million to implement.
  • Many of the proposals may be legally flawed and constitute a “poll tax” by imposing undue costs and burdens on voters.

We are reminded of the Presidential “Birther Bills” based on the rejection of alternative forms of ID that have been accepted for years.  We also note the strong support of the Tea Party despite the cost.  As we have said before “When we favor something, we ignore the costs“.


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