Evidence is mixed on the effect of voter identification laws on turnout

NPR has been running a number of stories about photo identification laws that are set to be considered or take effect in a number of states around the country (see here and here). Opponents argue that these laws would depress turnout among low-income and minority populations (less likely to have government identifications), which would indirectly benefit Republicans.

The Monkeycage blog reports, however, that empirical evidence in support of this argument is mixed, at best. In fact, a number of studies have failed to find any evidence-based link between voter identification laws and voter turnout. 

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t problems with laws like these, but opponents can rest a little easier knowing that these laws, if passed, might not have as large an effect on turnout as anticipated.

A list of research studies and their conclusions can be found here:

http://themonkeycage.org/blog/2011/10/03/do-voter-identification-laws-depress-turnout-redux/

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