Voter ID Laws: A Microcosm of a Divided America

Voter ID Laws: A Microcosm of a Divided America

Nancy Joy casts her vote at the Stone Center, in Oxford, Miss. on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. Voters in Oxford went to the polls today to vote in national mid-term elections as well as school board positions. (AP Photo/Oxford Eagle, Bruce Newman)
(AP Photo/Oxford Eagle, Bruce Newman)



WASHINGTON (The Washington Post)—The voter ID debate isn’t going anywhere.

The issue is largely a state-by-state one. Generally, Republicans rise to control in certain states and pass legislation, and then liberal and minority groups and supporters sue to overturn. And with the GOP obtaining full control of even more states after the 2014 election — they now have 24 — more states could look at such laws in the near future.

So where do the American people stand? Well, on the surface, polls show they are overwhelmingly in favor of the concept of presenting identification before voting. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll find a pretty deep divide on the basis for such laws.

A new poll from the Public Religion Research Institute asked people which they thought was a bigger problem: voter fraud or voter disenfranchisement. Forty percent of Americans said the former, while 43 percent said the latter — about an even split.