Study With Voting Rights Organization Shows Young People, People of Color Less Likely to Have Valid Photo Identification
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Millions of voting-age Americans lack a current government-issued photo ID, even as a growing number of states enact new or stricter voter ID requirements, according to an analysis released today by University of Maryland researchers and a leading voting rights organization.
The report from UMD’s Center for Democracy and Civic Engagement (CDCE) and VoteRiders, which focuses on ID education and assistance, analyzed data from the American National Election Studies’ 2020 Time-Series Study, a survey of voting-age Americans’ political attitudes and behaviors. Researchers zeroed in on responses about possession of a non-expired driver’s license, U.S. passport or other form of valid, government-issued photo ID, and found deep disparities.
“With the demographics most likely to lack valid voter ID being among the fastest-growing demographic groups in the country—including young people, people of color and particularly young people of color—the potential for voter ID laws to keep more eligible citizens from casting a ballot is likely to rise as well as we head toward the 2024 elections and beyond,” said Michael Hanmer, CDCE director, professor of government and politics and a co-author of the analysis.
Overall, 36 states have a law that requires or requests voters to show a form of ID before they cast their ballots. Since the 2020 elections, 16 states have enacted new ID laws or added restrictions to their existing ID laws. Voter ID laws passed after the 2020 elections in North Carolina and Montana are also currently being litigated in their respective state supreme courts.
“This data reinforces how the shifting landscape of state-level voter ID laws creates confusion and challenges for millions of Americans seeking to make their voices heard in our democracy, something our staff working on the ground across the country see firsthand every day,” said Lauren Kunis, CEO and executive director of VoteRiders. “As states rapidly pass new and stricter voter ID laws, ensuring that voters are informed about these changes and have help accessing the IDs they need to cast their ballots has never been more important.”
Key findings include:
This article is based on a release from VoteRiders.
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