ID laws leave countless voters dizzied into inaction

by Kathleen Unger

Published 3/2/2019 in Boston Globe: Letters 

Tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of eligible voters nationwide are so confused and intimidated that they will not vote, even though they have an acceptable ID (or do not know that none is needed in their state).

Further, contrary to the National Bureau of Economic Research study cited by Jacoby, another current NBER study, “Effects of Photo ID Laws on Registration and Turnout: Evidence from Rhode Island,” found that “turnout, registration, and voting conditional on registration fell for those without licenses after the law passed. We do not find evidence that people proactively obtained licenses in anticipation of the law, nor do we find that they substituted toward mail ballots which do not require a photo ID.”

Please note as well that the only types of ID that are common to all 36 states with voter ID laws are a current driver’s license or state ID in the voter’s state. Roughly 25 million voting-age Americans do not have a current government-issued photo ID.

Voter ID laws disproportionately affect citizens without a current driver’s license in their state: older adults, students and young voters, people with disabilities, voters of color, and those with low income. Such voters number in the hundreds of thousands in each state.