I had the pleasure of speaking with Kerry Miller of the Daily Circuit on Minnesota Public Radio on the subject of Voter ID laws. Minnesota currently has a proposed constitutional amendment moving through its legislature to impose strict photo ID restrictions on voters and possibly eliminate Election Day registration. I take great pride in the fact that my home state of Minnesota consistently has the highest turnout in the country, and I’m pained by this legislation that is sure to reduce opportunities for voter participation across the state. I want to correct a common misperception that came up during show, suggesting that voter turnout among Hispanic voters in Georgia has increased since the passage of its restrictive no-photo, no-vote photo ID law.
Motivation for voter turnout is notoriously difficult to measure. It’s a moving target, not lending itself easily to empirical methods of evaluation. But in this case, any assertion that voter turnout among Hispanics increased in Georgia following enactment of its strict voter ID law is simply not true.
According to the GA Secretary of State, Georgia’s Hispanic turnout (calculated as a percentage of registered voters) was lower in 2010 than in 2006, and it was lower in 2008 than in 2004.