A non-partisan congressional study released Wednesday shows that states which passed stricter voter identification laws saw greater drops in voter turnout than states that did not, with disproportionate drops among black and younger voters, the Associated Press reported.
As of June of this year, 33 states have passed laws requiring specific photo identification in order to vote, said the study, which was conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The office looked at voter turnout in Kansas and Tennessee, both of which passed stricter voter ID laws between the 2008 and 2012 elections, and compared results to turnout in four states – Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, and Maine – that did not tighten requirements.
“GAO’s analysis suggests that the turnout decreases in Kansas and Tennessee beyond decreases in the comparison states were attributable to changes in those two states’ voter ID requirements,” the report said.
The data showed that “reductions in voter turnout were about 2 percent greater in Kansas and from 2 percent to 3 percent steeper in Tennessee than they were in the other states examined.”
The study also found that that the falloff was almost four percent greater among black voters than white ones in Kansas, and almost two percent greater in Tennessee, and the reduced turnout “was sharper among people aged 18 to 23 than among those from 44 to 53.”
It’s no coincidence that these two groups tend to vote for Democratic candidates.
“This study confirms the real impact of Republican efforts to limit access to the ballot box,” said Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY). “Playing politics with the right to vote is a shameful practice.”
In fact, the Supreme Court blocked Wisconsin from implementing its restrictive voter ID law (conservative Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito dissented, of course), and a district court judge in Texas ruled the state’s new voter ID law is “racially discriminatory and violates the Voting Rights Act,” USA Today reported.
These voter laws have been trumpeted by the Right as a way to stop voter fraud, a problem that doesn’t exist, let alone need such strict measures to solve. All these laws do is stop people who don’t support Republican candidates from having access to their Constitutionally-protected right to vote.