Making Democracy Work

Voter Photo ID

Voter Photo ID

July 24, 2012

500,000 Americans Could Struggle to Get Voter ID

A new Brennan Center report, The Challenge of Obtaining Voter Identification, shows the potential effects of restrictive voter ID laws in 10 states. These states require voters show some form of government-issued ID at the polls. Yet some voters, often poor, minority and living in rural areas, do not have this ID (including a driver's license), and must secure one from a state ID-issuing office. The Brennan Center found that about 500,000 eligible voters live in households without a car and live more than ten miles from a state ID-issuing office that is open more than two days a week. In Texas, for example, in 32 counties near the Mexico border, there are 80,000 eligible Hispanic voters, but only two ID-issuing offices open more than two days a week. Perhaps even worse is the underlying documentation these citizens must produce to procure photo ID. To prove identity, eligible voters may have to show official copies of both their birth certificate and marriage license. The total cost for these records could be as much as $30. The report undercuts claims by voter ID supporters that photo ID is not burdensome. The reality is that, for some eligible Americans, voting is no longer a right of citizenship, but a fee-based privilege. See more at the Washington Post, NPR, Reuters, USA Today, and CBS News.

LWVSC urges federal court to reject South Carolina's restrictive voter ID law, March 27, 2012

South Carolina Registered Voters Without DMV-Issued Photo ID Card--Demographic information statewide, county by county, and precinct by precinct for registered voters who do not have a photo identification card issued by SC Department of Motor Vehicles, as of 9/22/2011. Link

U.S. Department of Justice denies pre-clearance to SC Voter photo ID law, Dec. 23, 2011

LWVSC Action on Voter Photo ID

Voter Photo ID in the Media