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66 Okla. L. Rev. 21 (2013-2014)
Voter ID: Who Has Them; Who Shows Them

handle is hein.journals/oklrv66 and id is 29 raw text is: VOTER ID: WHO HAS THEM?
WHO SHOWS THEM?
CHARLES STEWART III
This article is motivated by a desire to better understand three questions.
First, how many voters possess the identification required under the various
voter identification laws in the states? Second, when voters present
themselves at the polls (on Election Day or during the early voting period),
what forms of identification do they actually show? Third, how many voters
are deterred from voting because they do not have the requisite
identification?
I provide answers to these questions-and to the important subsidiary
questions that follow from them (such as whether identification possession
or identification-showing varies by race)-using responses to a nationwide
survey of over 10,000 voters, conducted in the days immediately following
the 2012 presidential election. These answers provide the first attempt to
quantify at the national level important empirical questions that arose in the
aftermath of the 2008 decision in Crawford v. Marion County Election
Board.'
While possession of some form of identification is widespread among
American voters, there are significant disparities in identification
possession by race. Furthermore, it matters whether the requisite
identification must be currently valid or contain a picture. The greater
mobility of African American and Hispanic voters can multiply racial
disparities if the address on the identification in question must agree with
the address of the voter on file with election authorities.2
What voters are actually required to produce in order to vote also varies.
Mostly this variation is simply a matter of state law. Yet in a significant
minority of cases, it appears that this variety is due to deviations from state
law. For instance, Hispanics who live in states that do not require voters to
show photo identification in order to vote nonetheless reported that they
* Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of
Technology.
This paper is based on a presentation given at the 2013 McAfee & Taft Oklahoma Law
Review Symposium on Election Law, held at the University of Oklahoma College of Law,
Norman, Oklahoma, on February 15, 2013.
1. 553 U.S. 181 (2008).
2. See NAACP LEGAL DEF. & EDuc. FUND, INC. & NAACP, DEFENDING DEMOCRACY:
CONFRONTING MODERN BARRIERS TO VOTING RIGHTS IN AMERICA 35 (n.d.), available at
http://naacp.3cdn.net/67065c25be9ae43367_mlbrsy48b.pdf.

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