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Addendum: Voter ID Laws

January 14, 2022
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WRITTEN BY Dr. Tomy Granzier-Nakajima

Executive Summary

The elections system in the U.S. is highly decentralized, with individual states responsible for administering state and federal elections. As a result, states vary in their voting regulations, and in particular, whether or not an ID is requested or required to be presented at the voting booth. Election security has been cited as a reason for implementing voter ID laws. However, they also introduce additional barriers to voting, which may lower voter turnout. 

Highlights 

  • Voter ID laws have not been observed to decrease instances of voter fraud or perceptions of voter fraud.
  • Research has shown that minority voters are disproportionately asked to show voter ID due to uneven implementation of voter ID laws by poll workers.

Limitations 

  • Research on the impacts of voter ID laws on voter turnout provides mixed results. Therefore, more research is warranted to clearly understand the effect.

 

This is an addendum to a previous Science Note on Voter Fraud.

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