Poll: Non-whites just as likely as whites to back ‘racist’ voter ID laws

DeKalb County voters go to the polls in Scottdale, May 24. (AJC Photo / Hyosub Shin)

DeKalb County voters go to the polls in Scottdale, May 24. (AJC Photo / Hyosub Shin)

With voter ID laws back in the news not too long ago — and an election just a couple of months away — this new poll result is rather interesting, to say the least:

“(N)ew Gallup research shows four in five Americans support both early voting and voter ID laws. A smaller majority of 63 percent support automatic voter registration. …

“Though many of the arguments for early voting and against voter ID laws frequently cite minorities’ voting access, nonwhites’ views of the two policies don’t differ markedly from those of whites. Seventy-seven percent of nonwhites favor both policies, while whites favor each at 81 percent.”

The part about early voting is mildly interesting, but it’s hardly unexpected to see Republicans and Democrats alike support it in large numbers. I’ve long believed early voting is more of a boon to the two major parties — which can get their loyalists to the polls early and then focus more intently on undecided or unlikely voters — than to the public as a whole. Early voting mostly hardens partisan leanings, because it discourages people from waiting until all available information about the candidates is known, thereby tacitly encouraging them to vote for “their side” above all.

But the result that’s far more interesting, because it’s far more surprising, is the one about voter ID laws. I omitted a boilerplate line in the Gallup report about voter ID laws reducing minority participation in elections. But if that were really happening — and the evidence in Georgia, where minority turnout has continued to rise since the law was tightened in 2005, suggests it isn’t — wouldn’t non-whites voice greater opposition to these laws in a poll like this one? After all, they are told repeatedly by Democrats that these laws are harmful to them. And yet their support for voter ID laws is statistically tied with that of white respondents to the poll.

The likeliest explanation for this ostensible contradiction is that real people don’t experience the effects of these laws the way politicians claim. To use Georgia as an example again, an ID card is available at no charge to anyone who needs one to vote because they don’t have a drivers license. That’s a small sacrifice to ask in the name of electoral integrity. (The problem recently identified by courts with voter ID laws in Texas and North Carolina was that they were overly, perhaps nefariously, strict regarding the types of IDs that are acceptable.)

Speaking of which, Democrats also often rail against the very idea that voter fraud exists. Gallup’s data do suggest that Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to believe “votes being cast by people who, by law, are not eligible to vote” — one behavior voter ID laws are intended to address — will be a “major problem” in this year’s election. But curiously, whites and non-whites are equally likely to believe this type of fraud will be a major problem: 37 percent of whites say so, and 35 percent of non-whites say so. This is one case where partisanship and race aren’t closely aligned.

Equally curiously, overall poll respondents deemed voting by non-eligible persons to be just as likely a problem as “eligible voters not being allowed to cast a vote” — which, of course, is what voter ID opponents claim will happen because of the laws. While actual cases of voter fraud are rare, cases of eligible voters not casting ballots because of voter ID laws are as difficult to pin down as the abominable snowman.

Maybe this is the bottom line: Americans are more reasonable about common-sense measures than their elected officials want them to be.

 

Reader Comments 0

43 comments
stogiefogey
stogiefogey

While we're on the subject of vote fraud, one of these days we here in GA need to return our attention to our no-paper-trail voting machines.

Make what you will of the fact that the current system, which some believe is susceptible to shenanigans, was put in place by a Dem secretary of state.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

Everyone who has the IQ of an egg knows the Justice Dept is in the tank for the Grifter Queen and her Democrat consorts, so if there is voter fraud, you can bet it will be downplayed.


I saw a study the other day that said if Romney had received something like 40,000 more votes distributed strategically over Ohio, FL, and one other state maybe NC, he would have won the EC, even though he was beaten badly in the popular vote.  Voter fraud matters, especially in close races. 

PJ25
PJ25

It's been a long time since taking my DL test, but I swear there was something in that book that said if you were 18 or older you had to have a state issued ID on you.  If state law requires an ID, then there's no reason not to have one for voting purposes. 

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@PJ25 

Of course not...An ID is necessary for many other reasons. If you go to see a doctor, if you're picking up a prescription, if you're traveling as well as for other life occasions. The Democrats who voice opposition to voter ID, do so because it minimizes the possibility of voter fraud and the left isn't above fraudulent voting.

lfelton
lfelton

If it's a law that means everyone has to obey it. So, why is it racist toward black people and the poor? I'm black and I've asked several black liberal family members and friends of mine this question and their answers reflect the results of the poll. They say nothing is wrong with requiring a photo ID. Even if you don't have a photo ID you can vote via a provisional ballot and if you are you say you are your vote will still be counted.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

"Americans are more reasonable about common-sense measures than their elected officials want them to be."


Yep, and the elected Democrat officials are terrified by affluent Blacks leaving the plantation. This trend will continue and eventually will also include Hispanics. The far-left strategy of farming ethnic and social liberal voting blocks is in serious jeopardy. Of course the far-left peons that appear on the AJC blogs are to dimwitted to understand it.

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

Funniest thing I've seen in quite some time is video of a gentleman that tried to serve a summons to D W Schulz at the DNC headquarters in Washington DC. That gentleman is dead now but that is another comment for another time. During the entire video that was filmed, showing him and his interactions with DNC staff, there was a sign at the DNC front desk that said "100% ID Check Required."

Just saying...

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

Mark,

If you had said "the widest participation of the citizens in voting," we would be in agreement. Citizens can sense that elections are compromised and that in itself suppresses their vote.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@IReportYouWhine Why don't you spell out what you are "Just saying?" That there should be some similarity between voting rights and access to the DNC?

MarkVV
MarkVV

@IReportYouWhine I did not know we were voting for or against out Constitutional form of government, Can you identify the amendment in question? 

MarkVV
MarkVV

@IReportYouWhine Joking aside, the point is that the supporters of the stricter voter ID laws attempt to make it a one-sided issue of safeguarding the integrity of the elections against voter fraud. It is not. It is a two sided issue – seeking a balance between protection against fraud and facilitating the widest participation of the people in voting.

 

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

Mark,

Yes, it should be of greater importance to protect our Constitutional form of government than one of our political parties.

Goes without saying....

MarkVV
MarkVV

@IReportYouWhine Now you are splitting hair. "People" (of this country) and "citizens" are in, this context, synonymous. 

MarkVV
MarkVV

@IReportYouWhine That doe snot answer my question. You wrote about protecting the Constitutional form of government. Whatever position one might have about the voter ID, the issue is not the form of government, period.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Fact check: False.

Obama is a citizen, yet he is not a person "of" America.

Americans don't actively work to weaken the country and make government the master of the people.

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

Mark,

Our Constitution allows one vote per citizen, that one vote cast to decide the future of our government. Take it from there.

MarkVV
MarkVV

In the middle of Kyle’s article he makes a rather strange turn, when he points out the result that non-whites did not voice greater opposition to the stricter ID laws than whites, and he makes the following conclusion:

“The likeliest explanation for this ostensible contradiction is that real people don’t experience the effects of these laws the way politicians claim.”

The question is then: who are the “real people?” Those, represented by the poll percentages opposing stricter ID laws, are “not real?” This argument is based on the simplistic expectation that whites and non-whites would view that issue as blocks of people of the same color. I believe there is a more likely explanation:

a. Among the non-whites, there is some percentage of those who have little understanding of the plight of those people who have a difficulty getting the ID, whites and non-whites.

b. Among the whites, there is a good percentage of those who have the empathy for the disadvantaged. 

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@MarkVV "Real people" means "not the purely hypothetical cases Democrats muster when asked for examples of people harmed by these laws."

MarkVV
MarkVV

@Kyle_Wingfield @MarkVV In that case, one must wonder: Why do those people, actually the majority of those polled, oppose those stricter voter ID laws? If  only hypothetical people were harmed by those laws, why would anybody care?

lvg
lvg

Trump and his experts say he cannot get a fair election and it must be rigged if he loses. So what the he-l difference does voter fraud and voter id laws make?

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Voter ID is just another thing for racist Democrat pols to talk down to minority groups about. As if they're children, unable to do the same things other adults do.

lvg
lvg

@Lil_Barry_Bailout Yeah dummies in Congress passed some stupid voting rights law claiming Southerners were keeping Blacks from voting. Southern Blacks were just a bunch of children who really did not know how to read and know what they are voting for.


BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

. (The problem recently identified by courts with voter ID laws in Texas and North Carolina was that they were overly, perhaps nefariously, strict regarding the types of IDs that are acceptable

No perhaps about it. They were. And no one is creating voter id laws for absentee ballots

MarkVV
MarkVV

Not surprisingly, when the issue is voting, the discussion on this blog turns inevitably to the silly arguments about the IDs and allegations of voter fraud. And when one reads a pearl like the following one,

“Doesn't matter if it is significant, if one illegal voter cancels my ballot, we have a problem,”

one can be justified in thinking that for some people, this subject causes a cessation of brain activity.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@MarkVV Here is some brain activity, you might want to engage yours.


There is no difference between having your voting rights infringed by not being allowed to vote and having Melowese Richardson illegally vote six times for the candidates opposing the ones you voted for.  Every illegal vote cancels one vote for the candidate opposing the candidate of the illegal voter.


The result is the same, you and your five member family have played to a draw with Melowese and you have failed to make a difference, the same as if you had not voted. 





MarkVV
MarkVV

@RafeHollister @MarkVV You have not shown a sign of brain activity yet by this babbling. Anybody who claims, in the national context of elections like in this case, that a single instance of an illegality "is a problem," should have his/her head examined. There must be a medical term for such a condition.  The same would be true if someone claimed that if just a single person was  wrongly prevented from voting, that "it would be a problem."  A sane person has some sense of proportion in such matters.  Such issues become "a problem" when we deal with a widespread activity, not when we deal with a single occurrence.  

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@MarkVV @RafeHollister Well, why don't you just sit out this next election, because in the overall scheme of things it is not that important.  To you maybe, but by your reasoning the collective is more important and your non vote will not make any difference whatsoever.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@RafeHollister @MarkVV Again, your argument simply does not make any sense. If I, and only I, sit out the next election, indeed it would not be that important in the overall scheme of things. That was the fallacy of your original claim, that a single instance of illegality is "a problem." If that was to be taken seriously, a society would be just overwhelmed with "problems," because eliminating every single illegality is impossible. 

MarkVV
MarkVV

When I was reading Kyle’s article for the first time, I was mildly puzzled/curious about what main point was Kyle making. The I reached the end, and reading

“Americans are more reasonable about common-sense measures than their elected officials want them to be,”

I agreed. Perhaps with a minor modification: Instead of “elected officials,” I would suggest just “officials,” including specifically party officials. They are those who apparently are often looking at voting from the viewpoint of winning/losing rather than an expression of the opinion and will of the people regarding the issues the country faces. (The elected officials are, of course, those who put those efforts in practice.)

Case in point: The efforts to curtail early voting and making stricter voter ID laws, against the opinion, a Kyle has cited, of a vast majority of both nonwhites and whites. 

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

As far as voter fraud, what people BELIEVE is not operant.  IS there significant voter fraud, or not?

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@Wascatlady Doesn't matter if it is significant, if one illegal voter cancels my ballot, we have a problem.


Never mind the 13,000 felons that Clinton accomplice Terry McAuliffe just restored voting privileges to, skirting the court decision against him and his previous efforts.  That is legalized fraud against law abiding Virginian voters. 

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@nick1234 @RafeHollister @Wascatlady Well, for one thing it is the law and one of the penalties for being a criminal.  Yes they should be allowed to petition to have their rights restored, but the petition should be vetted and a determination of whether they appear to have left their criminal ways.  McAuliffe just en mass restored all those people's rights without any vetting or consideration.  All to help his friend Hillary and other Dems.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Wascatlady There is not


This was and always will be a solution in search of a problem,


I think there were like 7 cases in 2012. And 5 of those were someone simply being allowed to vote at the wrong polling place


Meanwhile some older Americans who couldn't find a birth certificate in time were turned away from voting like they had for decades


Its just shameful.

Unaffiliated Voter
Unaffiliated Voter

@Wascatlady   Yes, in some states like NC where the democrackkks CONTROLLED the voter rolls always until republicannots got hold of it.   Thousands of deceased were still on rolls, many not at registered addresses, etc...finally been cleaned up with help by

NC's own    VoterIntegrityProject dot com   one of the nation's most dedicated groups seriously addressing the issue of voter fraud, which people like to scoff at,

but it has been very prevalent for decades.

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

@Wascatlady There is a long history of voter fraud in the big cities.  Its entirely conceivable JFK was elected because of voter fraud.  There's no doubt he would have lost Illinois if not for cheating by Mayor Daley.  There were a number of other close states where it could have made a difference.  There was massive fraud in South Texas where they stole LBJ's first senate election, although that probably wasn't enough in 1960 to switch Texas, which was close, but not that close.  You regularly see cases of dead people voting.  There are a lot of political party apparatchiks who believe the ends justifies the means.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

Anyone with enough sense to get out of rain knows that if you need a picture ID to check out a book, buy a cold remedy, or attend a Grifter Queen rally, you need to provide some ID to vote.  That is just good ole common sense. 


There are elitist paternalist, as illustrated below, that think minorities could not survive and follow rules and regulations unless some liberal/proggie holds their hand and lights their pathways.


The Dems have most all the campaign money, the media, academia, the comedy shills and late night provocateurs, the President, half the Congress, the pop cultural entertainment elitist, and yet they think they might lose anyway, unless they leave open the voter fraud door.

TicTacs
TicTacs

Don't burden the holder of the right to vote, prove the guilt of the illegal voter.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

http://www.npr.org/2016/03/25/471891525/arizona-polling-places-overwhelmed-with-long-lines-on-primary-day


As bad as the voter ID laws are. This is in fact even more dangerous.


Maricopa is Arizona's most populous county and accounts for almost two thirds of the state's residents, and yet there were only 60 polling places, down from 200 in 2012.


When asked why polling places were cut so dramatically. They explain it by saying this.


Whoops.


None of that would have happened of course if the Voting Rights act wasn't gutted. Thanks Scalia. 


Those long lines in poor neighborhoods we all saw in Florida were no coincidence either.

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

Since the first versions of the racist voter ID laws went into effect, I believe there has been a tremendous amount of activity to educate people on what they need to do so that their voting rights aren't trampled. 


Lots of community organizing and ministers educating their congregations about taking action sooner rather than later to protect themselves.