“Virtually no one” kept from voting by Texas’ voter ID law

An actual lack of a state approved photo ID kept virtually no one from turning out to vote in 2016.

 

Photo voter ID requirements don’t prevent eligible voters from voting. That’s the unsurprising (to anyone who pays attention to such things) result of a study of voter participation in two Texas battlegrounds in the 2016 general election.

 

The Texas Voter ID Law and the 2016 Election: A Study of Harris County and Congressional District 23, out of the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs, found that non-voters in the two jurisdictions had the required photo voter ID – most stayed away from the polls because they just didn’t like the candidates.

Virtually all registered voters in Harris County and CD-23 who did not participate in the November 2016 election possessed one of the state approved forms of photo ID needed to cast a vote in person. . . . when pressed to give the principal reason why they did not cast a ballot in 2016, only 1.5% and 0.5% of non-voters in Harris County and CD-23 identified a lack of a state-approved photo ID as the principal reason they did not vote.

 

Among this handful of non-voters, 86% actually possessed an approved form of photo ID, while 14% did not. While the photo ID law at least partially discouraged some people from voting, an actual lack of a state approved photo ID kept virtually no one (only one non-voter among the 819 surveyed) from turning out to vote in 2016.

Any eligible Texas voters without an accepted form of photo ID were able to vote in that election by signing a reasonable impediment declaration and showing non-photo identification, a temporary remedy imposed by the courts that the Texas Legislature is working to make a permanent part of the law this session.

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