In recent months, a slew of polls have asked one of the more critical questions in electoral politics: Do you support Voter ID? The answers are as controversial as the topic itself. An ongoing stream of debate over Voter ID laws easily gives the impression of a highly charged polarizing tug of war between competing parties. And the assumption, especially among pundits battling over it, is that the larger public knows what that is. Lawmakers, particularly on the state level, continue to litigate or pass some form of Voter ID law, with Republicans pushing a statistically questionable voter fraud narrative and Democrats pushing back with accusations of voter suppression. National polls from sources such as Fox News, Rasmussen and others suggest the issue, at least in the minds of voters, is resolved. The most eye-raising was an early June Fox News survey, which showed 51 percent of African Americans actually supported Voter ID laws — despite clear campaign trail and advocacy angst to the contrary.
When President Obama was up for re-election in 2012, Black voter turnout rates doubled that of their Caucasian counterparts due in large part to anger over Voter ID and other voting process laws being passed in more than two dozen states. “I remember that being the last straw for a lot of people,” said Tkeyah Lake, a D.C.-based campaign digital strategist who remembers the long voting lines in heavily Black districts during the last Presidential election. “There was a sense – and you heard it constantly while standing in line for hours – that if we didn’t vote in this election, we’d lose our right to vote.”
Hence, results from the recent Fox poll have triggered fresh concerns from many experts who not only wonder what impact Voter ID laws will have on future electoral outcomes, but whether the general population actually understands what they are.
“It has as much to do with polling strategy and standards as with Voter ID laws themselves,” admitted Trevor Burrus, Research Fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies. “Of course voter ignorance is always a problem. Voters usually don’t know much about the policies being debated. There are many types of voter ID laws, so keeping up with them is difficult.”
Full Article: Do people know what Voter ID means?.