Opponents of voter ID laws rely on faulty studies and sloppy data to grossly exaggerate the number of voters without acceptable identification under voter ID laws, according to Donald Palmer, RNLA Advisory Council member and former Secretary to the Virginia State Board of Elections. Palmer's report details how interest groups and media outlets often report numbers of voters without ID that are 2-20 times as high as the actual number of voters without ID, while careful analysis by election and demographic experts reporting smaller numbers is "reasonable, correct, and ignored."
Further distorting the data, opponents often completely ignore alternative methods of identification provided by voter ID laws, such as U.S. passports, student IDs, military IDs, employer IDs, and free IDs provided by election officials.
While courts often see through this faulty data, it has a significant impact on the public debate and the public's perception of voter ID laws:
The use of wildly inaccurate and misleading data inhibits a rational legislative or policy debate on the likely effect of photo identification laws and bleeds into the debate about other important election reform proposals across the country. Policymakers and the public deserve to hear the truth about the relatively small universe of affected voters, not inflammatory and inaccurate assertions that hundreds of thousands or millions of voters are going to be negatively affected by such laws.Using inflated numbers to claim disenfranchisement by voter ID laws is another attempt by vote fraud deniers to influence the debate on voter ID and make vote fraud easier to perpetrate.