Democrats and Independents who resent special considerations for African Americans are more likely to support voter ID laws, according to a study by the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication.
The study of 906 Americans found Republicans overwhelmingly supported voter ID laws regardless of their racial attitudes. Ninety-four percent of Republicans supported the laws.
“Who votes in America has always been controversial; so much so that the U.S. constitution has been amended a number of times to protect voting eligibility and rights,” assistant professor David C. Wilson said. “It comes as no surprise that Republicans support these laws more than Democrats; but, what is surprising is the level at which Democrats and liberals also support the laws.”
Sixty-two percent of Democrats and 81 percent of Independents said they supported requiring individuals to show a form of government-issued identification before they attempt to vote.
Republicans across the country have pushed for stricter voting regulations, such as voter ID laws, to protect against alleged voter fraud. More than 30 states have changed voter laws since 2008, including requiring voter identification cards, eliminating same-day registration on voting day, prohibiting ex-felons from ballot access, restricting early voting and requiring proof of citizenship.
At the 103rd convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) last week, Holder compared voter ID laws to “poll taxes” that were outlawed by the 24th Amendment. Poll taxes were a part of Jim Crow-era laws that were used largely in southern states to disenfranchise minority voters. The Justice Department has said that a disproportionate number of those who do not have the proper ID are black or Hispanic.
“Under the proposed law, concealed handgun licenses would be acceptable forms of photo ID, but student IDs would not,” the attorney general pointed out. “Many of those without IDs would have to travel great distances to get them. And some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them.”
“We call those poll taxes,” Holder added.
With prior reporting by David Edwards
[A voter casts a ballot via Shutterstock]