Yes, some news about North Carolina’s voter ID law isn’t good. Apparently, the state GOP requested data on the voting behaviors between the racial groups and found that black voters rarely (if ever) have a photo ID issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. So, they crafted a law that would only allow types of identification that are disproportionately used by white voters. Christopher Ingraham of The Washington Post wrote about this find when a federal appeals court struck down the law earlier this month. He called it the “smoking gun” that showed the law’s intent was to disenfranchise black voters. If this is true, it’s obviously not good—and some accountability needs to occur. But the notion of presenting identification prior to voting isn’t alien, nor is it unpopular. Voter ID laws are very popular across party and racial lines; 65 percent of black voter support the concept of voter ID laws, regardless of Democrats trying to frame this as Jim Crow reloaded.
Now, we have Gallup noting that 80 percent of Americans support voter ID laws, which includes 95 percent support among Republicans; 83 percent support with Independents; 63 percent support among Democrats; and 77 percent support among nonwhite voters:
Majorities of Democrats and Republicans support early voting, but the option finds more favor among Democrats (85%) than Republicans (74%).
Studies have shown that voter ID laws reduce voting among blacks and young adults, who tend to vote Democratic. Many Republican leaders and Republican state legislatures have worked to put them into law. While majorities of Republicans and Democrats favor voter ID laws, Republicans (95%) overwhelmingly support them. Democratic support is more tepid, at 63%.
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%. Nonwhites are, however, more likely to support automatic voter registration (71%) than are whites (59%).
Now, the sticky wicket is that while Republicans and Democrats support early voting and voter ID laws, one side strongly favors one policy over the other. Nevertheless, the concept of voter ID laws continues to be popular, or we have a lot of racists in this country.