CREDIT: Alice Keeney/Associated Press
According to the Advancement Project, a leading voting rights organization litigating several challenges to state-level voter suppression laws, over 1 in 10 registered voters lack the ID necessary to vote under a voter ID law that went into effect after the Supreme Court gutted a key prong of the Voting Rights Act. And that’s just one fact offered by a graphic outlining many of the impacts of voter suppression laws in four states. In North Carolina, 1 in 3 voters lacking ID are African American, and 70 percent of black voters used early voting in 2012. North Carolina recently enacted a voter suppression law that imposes a strict voter ID requirement and cuts early voting by a full week.
It should be noted that the Advancement Project’s estimate that over 1 in 10 Texas voters lack ID suggests voter ID is more problematic than other estimates — a more conservative analysis concludes that voter ID laws “will prevent something like 2 or 3 percent of registered voters from actually casting a ballot.” Even if the conservative estimate is correct, however, the voters disenfranchised by voter ID still massively outweigh the alleged benefits of the law.
The most common argument offered in defense of such laws is that they will prevent voter fraud at the polls, and that the impacts of such fraud outweighs any harms caused by disenfranchised voters. Yet in-person voter fraud is literally less common than people getting struck by lightning. According to one Wisconsin study, just 0.0023 percent of votes are the product of such fraud.