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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

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Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Poll: Voter ID is a Good Idea

by Stephen Dinan | January 22, 2008

Two-thirds of Americans, including a majority of racial and ethnic minorities, say the government should make voters show photo identification before voting, according to a new Fox 5/The Washington Times/ Rasmussen Reports survey.

The numbers come as the voter-identification battle is heating up, with more states considering requiring photo identification and with the Supreme Court two weeks ago hearing oral arguments in a challenge to Indiana's photo identification requirement.

"Support for the concept is overwhelming," said Scott Rasmussen, who conducted the poll, taken Jan. 16 and 17 of 1,000 adults. "What this number suggests to me is, it sounds like common sense in a society where you have to show ID to do just about anything."

Overall, 67 percent said they support requiring photo identification, and that support ran high across all demographic groups. More than three-fourths of Republicans supported showing identification, as did 63 percent of Democrats and independents. And 58 percent of blacks, 69 percent of whites and 66 percent of other ethnic or racial minorities backed the concept.

The question was: "Should voters be required to prove their identity by showing a government issued photo ID before they're allowed to vote?"

The issue is far more divisive in the political sphere, though, with Republican legislatures pushing it as an answer to voter fraud and Democrats fighting back, arguing it is an attempt to keep poor and minority voters from the polls.

"Undemocratic voter ID laws are just another part of a broad Republican effort to undermine our fundamental right to vote," Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said when the Supreme Court heard the Indiana case two weeks ago.

During oral argument, though, the justices appeared to be leaning toward... Read more>>>

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