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The Disproportionate Impact of Voter ID Requirements on the Electorate: New Evidence from Indiana

January 2009

Matt A. Barreto, Stephen A. Nuño, Gabriel R. Sanchez


Using a statewide survey, researchers investigate whether all groups of the general population are equally affected by voter identification laws. The findings conclude that minorities, low-income, less-educated, and younger and older voters have disproportionately lower access to proper identification. They find no difference pertaining to gender. They find a statistically significate difference in access to ID between republicans and democrats, in that republicans are more likely to have access to proper ID.

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Policy Implications

These results contradict the popular argument (the very argument used by the supreme court) that obtaining a voter ID is not a large burden. The data suggests that poor, minority, and very young or very old voters are at a significant disadvantage in terms of obtaining proper ID, and that such laws are disproportionately disenfranchising these groups.

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