Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Turnout Figures Since Indiana Adopted Photo ID Requirement Does Not Show "Voter Suppression" as Claimed by Democrats

In 2005, the Indiana General Assembly passed a law requiring persons to show a government-issued photo identification in order to vote.  Previously voters could cast a ballot simply by signing a name  (hopefully theirs) to the poll book.  Indiana leads the nation in adopting a photo ID requirement to vote and today the photo ID requirement is referred to as one of the most "restrictive barrier" to voting in the country.  Several states followed Indiana lead in adopting a photo ID requirement for voters, though not all required the identification be "government-issued."  Some states also provide an affidavit backup, allowing a voter who forgot the ID to cast a ballot by confirming his or her identity under oath.

While the measure received widespread popular support, Democrats continue to maintain that requiring a person to show a photo ID to vote is "voter suppression."

Now that state photo ID requirements have been in place a few years there have been a chance to study the changes.  One of the studies I looked at claims the requirement decreases turnout by 2%.  Frankly I did not buy that which led me to look at Indiana's turnout figures. 

In doing so, I compare like elections to like elections.  Presidential election years naturally have higher turnout while mid-term elections always have lower turnout.  I didn't attempt a look at municipal elections as I had state wide and county wide turnout figures most readily available.  Here is what I found:

Statewide (Presidential Election Years)
2004   58%
2008   62%

Statewide (Mid-Term Election Years)
2002 39%
2006 40%
2010 41%

The photo ID requirement was first used in the 2006 election.  It shows turnout increased in that year and the following years.

According to Democrats' claim the photo ID requirement impacts people who are impoverished the most.  So I took a look at the two counties that have the most such voters - Marion and Lake Counties.

Marion County (Presidential Election Years)
2004 54%
2008 55%

Marion County (Mid-Term Election Years)
2002 36%
2006 33%
2010 36%

Lake County (Presidential Election Years)
2004 55%
2008 71%

Lake County (Mid-Term Election Years)
2002 28%
2006 29%
2010 37%

Outside of the blip in Marion County's numbers in 2006, the numbers show turnout has stayed even or increased since the adoption of the photo ID requirement.

It should be noted that turnout numbers overall are questionable.  Here's why.  Registration figures show that most Indiana counties have over 90% of their adult population registered to vote.  Some are even over 100%.  Indiana voter rolls are filled with people who have moved (and are registered more than one place) or have passed away.  Because the number of people who vote are compared to these bloated numbers when figuring turnout, the turnout looks much lower than it actually is.

Nonetheless, if the apples are being compared to apples, this shouldn't matter.  My guess is that Indiana's photo ID requirement has eliminated some fraud, but it just was not widespread fraud. 

Given the history of the Democratic Party and what it did to African-American voters in the South, no one should know real voter suppression better than the Democrats.  Clearly the numbers do not substantiate their claim that Indiana's voter ID law is about "voter suppression."


patriot paul said...

Nice post. You might find this interesting on Pennsylvania voter ID law upheld by Judge today:

artfuggins said...

Isn't it amazing that a student at IUPUI can use a student ID but a student at Butler can't. Just another example of the flaws in this law.

Downtown Indy said...

I wonder what part of 'government issued photo ID' art is having trouble understanding?

Unknown said...

You "guess" the Indiana photo ID law eliminated some fraud. Other than your "guess," do you have any other evidence of what "voter fraud" has been eliminated in Indiana!

Nicolas Martin said...

There are two reasons that liberals oppose voter ID laws.

1. They take minorities, especially Blacks, to be utter morons, incapable of the most trivial accomplishment, such as obtaining and ID.

2. Their preferred political party caters to government dependents, and seeks to maximize the number of dependents.

Cato said...

I will guarantee you this: there are more people who have had their votes suppressed by this Republican "Papers, Please!" law than there were people who committed voter fraud.

Downtown Indy said...

Prove to us that the law has NOT prevented fraud, then.

Cato said...

Right after you prove that you're not planning on stealing Paul's car.

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

As I've said in other posts, this law disenfranchises many people, including my own parents.

Telling American Legion members who've not only served their country but voted in every election for decades that they're no longer eligible is just plain wrong.

Government-issued photo ID is easy for 85% of us; it's the other 15% -- citizens all -- that are kept away from the polls for no verifiable reason.

Susan McKee said...

Bottom line: If you have to prevent people from voting to win, your ideas suck.

american patriot said...

I'd like to see the steps Hoosier in Heartland has done to help his parents get their ID, that's the only way the flaws in the system can be corrected.

I'll bet they have told you not to worry about it, it's a shame that people who put their lives on the line in WWII or our other battles and wars since don't want to fight the system as they grow older.

If a fake copy of a birth certificate is good enough for the President then who would question a fake one for a vet?

Get creative, find a liberal college kid and have him/her get even with Indiana for having this requirement by creating whatever docs you need.

I know that the citizenship process can be difficult to deal with, a friend's wife was told she was not a US citizen when she was in her 40s, this after having been in the Navy when only US citizens were allowed, given an SSN, etc. It took almost 6 months before someone in immigration realized the error.

I have other Navy friends who went through hell and back to get a spouse from a foreign country citizenship, only to watch millions get a free pass from a bleeding heart liberal a few years later.

If voting means that much they can always register in a non ID state.

From what the cops tell me Ohio is a place where virtually nothing is done to verify an address when registering a car, getting an ID might be just as easy.

Downtown Indy said...

I guess we can take the ignition locks off cars because there's no proof im going to steal Paul's car.

artfuggins said...

Downtown Indy, do your homework. Butler IDs are not acceptable as Butler is a private university. IUPUI is a state [government] university. Thus I stand by my statement regarding the IN photo ID law.

TMLutas said...

The Democrats suggesting that there is no fraud because there are few prosecutions are playing with fire. The lack of prosecutions is, frankly, intentional.

We are reluctant to push on fraud and have been for a long time because we do not want to have constant open wounds in our government. Nixon declined to investigate fraud in his loss to Kennedy not because he thought it wasn't a factor but because he thought the loss to the country of a successful win that way would outweigh the gain the country would have by his election. Nixon was not alone and the impulse to pass over isolated discoveries of fraud absent a very close election is still part of our unspoken political culture.

Democrats making hay over the lack of prosecutions are impairing a gentleman's agreement. I suspect that if they continue on this path they will eventually rouse the ire of Republicans and the prosecutions will come, much to the detriment of Democrats.

Susan McKee said...

“The analysis of 2,068 reported fraud cases by News21, a Carnegie-Knight investigative reporting project, found 10 cases of alleged in-person voter impersonation since 2000. With 146 million registered voters in the United States, those represent about one for every 15 million prospective voters.”

Unknown said...

Hoosier in the Heartland, if your parents can get to the election polls, why can't they get to a license branch.

Cato, it is generally accepted that democrat voter fraud decide the 1960 presidential election. I don't know to much about Indiana, but Chicago has more people from cemeteries vote than most towns' populations in the country.

Just what is the difficulty for people, rich or poor, to get government ID?

Unknown said...

Susan McKee, Bottom line: If you have to resort to fraudulent voting, your ideas can't be very good, you are a cheat and not worthy of the voters' support.