On October 16, 2014, Hans von Spakovsky spoke at the National Press Club on the impact of state voter ID laws on the 2014 midterm elections, as well as recent court rulings on the laws.
Von Spakovsky reminded everyone that all of the claims about how voter ID laws deprive citizens of their right to vote were initiated by the NAACP about eight years ago, and those claims have since been proven incorrect through data.
He further pointed to data gleaned from a “case study” in Georgia, which since it was under Section 5 of the VRA, they were required to keep data on all registered voters. Georgia implemented a strict voter ID law in 2008 and the data showing how many white, Hispanic, and black voters turned out to vote after the law took effect. Instead of the turnout for black voters going down, it actually went up dramatically.
The data in Georgia further shows that that was not a fluke. It went up again in 2010, and in 2012, the number of black voters in Georgia actually outnumbered the number of white voters in Georgia.
Justice John Paul Stevens (yes, a liberal) on the Supreme Court wrote an opinion upholding the constitutionality of Indiana’s voter ID requirement – which was called one of the strictest in the nation – and opined that it was not an undue burden on voters to obtain an photo identification.
Indiana also kept records on how many voters of each race voted in the elections after they instituted their voter ID law, and they saw a similar pattern to Georgia. Just after the law was implemented in 2008, Indiana saw one of the largest increases in Democratic turnout of any state in the country. In 2010, their turnout went up again, and in 2012, the census bureau reports that blacks voted at a higher rate than whites in Indiana by 10 percentage points.
It is clear that voter identification does not disenfranchise minority voters, nor is such a law racist. The reason Democrats are against it is because they need to commit voter fraud in order to continue to win elections, and requiring an identification when one goes to the polls to vote puts a damper on that.