(Week of 6/2/2012) Nearly half the states now require proof of identification in order to vote. The laws are meant to prevent voter fraud, and Americans overwhelmingly support such laws. In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, 65% favor requiring photo IDs to vote, and just 22% oppose them.
Voter identification laws have been attacked as efforts to suppress minority turnout, since blacks and Hispanics are less likely to have passports, driver’s licenses or other forms of photo identification than are whites. African-Americans in this poll are divided on the issue, with 42% supporting such laws and 37% opposing them. Hispanics, by 59% to 24%, favor these laws.
Americans as a whole are much more closely divided on the question of whether voter fraud or voter suppression are bigger problems. 25% think voter suppression is a bigger problem, while 34% think voter fraud is. 25% think they are equally common.
64% of Republicans say voter fraud is more common; just 15% of Democrats, 10% of African-Americans, and 22% of Hispanics agree.
Photo source: Press Association