The movement in a number of states including Wisconsin to require voters to prove eligibility by presenting a photo of themselves when they try to vote has placed an undue burden on the right to vote. Wisconsin’s statute permits voters to use only a Wisconsin driver’s license or Wisconsin state card, a military or tribal ID card, a passport, a naturalization certificate if issued within two years, a student ID (so long as it contains the student’s signature, the card’s expiration date and proof that the student really is enrolled in a school), or an unexpired receipt from a driver’s license/ID application. Wisconsin does not recognize military veteran IDs, student ID cards without a signature and other government-issued IDs. A recent national survey found that millions of American citizens do not have readily available documentary proof of citizenship. Many more — primarily women — do not have proof of citizenship with their current name. The survey also showed that millions of American citizens do not have government-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license or passport. Finally, the survey demonstrated that certain groups — primarily poor, elderly and minority citizens — are less likely to possess these forms of documentation than the general population. … Consider the effect of strict voter ID laws on lawful turnout. The panel opinion does not discuss the cost of obtaining a photo ID. It assumes the cost is negligible. That’s an easy assumption for federal judges to make, since we are given photo IDs by court security free of charge. And we have upper-middle-class salaries.
Not everyone is so fortunate. It’s been found that the expenses for documentation, travel and waiting time are significant — especially for minority groups and low-income voters — typically ranging from about $75 to $175. Even when adjusted for inflation, these figures represent substantially greater costs than the $1.50 poll tax outlawed by the 24th Amendment in 1964.
Wisconsin is wise not to argue that voter-impersonation fraud is common in its state. Instead it argues that such fraud is uncommon because it’s deterred by the statutory requirement of having a photo ID to be permitted to vote. But were it true that requiring a photo ID is necessary to deter voter-impersonation fraud, then such fraud would be common in states that do not require a photo ID.
We know of no evidence in support of such an argument.
Full Article: Why no vote fraud where ID is optional?.