Voter Rights

Should photo IDs be required at the ballot box?


A partisan conflict over voter identification is intensifying as this year's presidential election approaches. Republican state lawmakers have promoted voter-ID requirements in the name of instilling confidence in the electoral system and reducing what they argue is rampant voter fraud. The strictest laws require voters to produce an unexpired, government-issued photo ID at the polls. Studies have found little evidence of “impersonation” fraud in which someone casts a ballot under somebody else's name, but Republicans say the practice is common enough to warrant concern. Democrats, however, maintain that such fraud is rare and argue that photo-ID laws are aimed at reducing turnout by voters who lean Democratic — including minorities, students and the elderly. Some studies show disproportionately lower ID possession among those groups, but ...

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