Voter ID Requirements Disenfranchise Wealthy
By a substantial margin, the Indiana residents most likely to possess photo ID turn out to be whites, the middle aged, and high-income voters. And while this is undoubtedly just a wild coincidence, these are also the three groups most like to vote for Republicans.
There are numerous colorful bar graphs but this summary table presents all of the data together:
What I find most striking here is not the inter-group differences, which I agree are significant, but the fact that so many people haven’t bothered to obtain ID cards. It’s ridiculously easy to get one, after all.
Because my dad was in the Army, I’ve had at least one photo ID card literally as long as I can remember. Even absent that, though, I’ve had a state driver’s license since I was 16 and have had various student or work IDs in addition to that most of the time. My ATM card has my photo on it. I’ve got a passport.
Now, obviously, the poor or urban dwellers are less likely to drive, let alone travel overseas. But Indiana, which requires picture ID for voting, makes it rather easy to get one. For free:
If you do not possess an ID that is acceptable for voting purposes, PL 109-2005 requires the BMV to issue an Indiana State ID Card free of charge.
To obtain a free ID card for voting purposes from any BMV branch, you will need to supply the necessary documentation, as explained in the Necessary Documentation Checklist.
The main obstacle on the Necessary Documentation Checklist is obtaining a copy of one’s birth certificate or other primary proof of U.S. citizenship. Given that similar requirements obtain for registering for school, participating in extracurricular activities such as sports, getting married, most jobs, and all manner of other life events, it’s not exactly a major deterrent. Indiana also provides Exemptions for the indigent and those with religious or other objections to presenting picture ID. They’re a minor nuisance, however, since it requires a trip to the county election office.
Frankly, obtaining a valid ID card as hardly more onerous than registering to vote, period. If you’re not willing to do that much, you’re incredibly unlikely to vote, anyway.
As to the post headline, it’s tongue-in-cheek. It’s based on this chart:
Indiana’s wealthy are more likely to have a picture ID than the poor — but less likely than the middle class. Still, if the requirement was an underhanded way to disenfranchise Democrats and advantage Republicans, you’d think that they wouldn’t undercut the richest Hoosiers.