Not so, writes Nate Cohn. Cohn argues that the commonly cited statistics “grossly overstate the potential electoral consequences of these laws”. For one, figures from liberal groups “overstate the number of voters who truly lack identification”. Cohn points to two reasons for this:
One, the matching process in comparing state databases with the voter files misses potential matches and leaves out registered voters who have a Driver’s License. For example, once additional matching criteria was utilized in North Carolina’s figures, “the number of unmatched registered voters plummeted from 1.24 million to 318,643.
Two, “the true number of registered voters without photo identification is usually much lower than the statistics … suggest.” The reason for this is because the statistics leave out the various other forms of ID that these laws permit as valid voting IDs such as U.S. Passports and other government issued IDs. The statistics reported by liberal groups such as the Brennan Center greatly inflate the numbers of those without ID as RNLA has explained before. Unfortunately, until now, these statistics have been the only ones reported in the mainstream media.
Make no mistake; there is still a lot to disagree with in Cohn’s article, but one has to appreciate the recognition, in the New York Times no less, that a lot of bad information has been circulated by progressives and their sympathetic press regarding the impact of voter ID.