One of the strongest arguments going for lawmakers who support tougher voter ID laws is that, according to many polls, the measures have public support. In North Carolina, for example, a WRAL TV survey last October found 69 percent favor requiring a photo ID to vote. But a new poll by SurveyUSA — sponsored by the N.C. League of Women Voters and Democracy North Carolina — finds that most North Carolina voters are also fine with non-photo ID alternatives, and don’t think voter ID should be a top priority.
North Carolina’s House Elections Committee is set to take up the question of voter ID this week, after holding hearings that have been dominated by ID opponents and divided along partisan lines.
The poll of 920 North Carolina adults, 87 percent of them registered voters, also found that support for photo ID drops when voters hear about the potential negative impact on African Americans, seniors and other groups who disproportionately lack ID — a finding in line with other surveys nationally on the issue.
Like other polls, SurveyUSA’s found large support among NC voters for a photo ID measure. But the poll asked something most suyrveys don’t: whether voters would also support non-photo ID alternatives. As the press release notes, North Carolina’s current policy found nearly equal support:
The poll by SurveyUSA indicates that 75 percent of voters favor a photo ID requirement, but 70 percent would not turn away a registered voter who doesn’t have one, if the voter signs an affidavit and provides a verifiable ID number such as a date of birth or social security number.