New voter ID poll results

New from the League of Women Voters and Democracy NC:

Super Majority Supports Giving Voters a Non-Photo Option And Opposes Restrictions that Target Particular Groups

RALEIGH – A survey by one of the nation’s most respected polling firms adds new insights into how North Carolinians view a proposed requirement for voters to show a government-issued photo identification document before voting.

The poll by SurveyUSA indicates that 75 percent of voters favor a photo ID requirement, but 70 percent would not turn away a registered voter who doesn’t have one, if the voter signs an affidavit and provides a verifiable ID number such as a date of birth or social security number.

The current version of House Bill 589 does not include this back-up option. The bill allows voters without a photo ID to cast a provisional ballot, but the ballot will not count unless the voter returns after Election Day and shows officials a government photo ID.

The poll indicates a strong majority of voters also oppose voting restrictions that are aimed at a particular party or group, and 74 percent agree with the statement, “Legislators should show evidence of significant problems, such as real voter fraud, before they pass laws that make voting more difficult.”

Only a third of North Carolina voters think passing a photo ID bill should be a high priority.

“The current ID bill is being sold as a way to improve confidence in our elections, but it includes features that voters recognize as unreasonably harsh,” said Jo Nicholas, president of the League of Women Voters of NC, which sponsored the poll.

“A large majority would allow a voter who takes an oath and provides a personal identifying number to cast a ballot,” she said. “That’s what the bill will require of a person who votes through the mail. Why would legislators put a heavier burden on voters who show their face to an election official?”

According to the poll, support for a photo ID requirement drops from 75 percent to 59 percent when callers are told it would have a disproportionate impact on African-American voters. It falls to 54 percent when voters hear that it could cause difficulties for seniors who no longer drive and women with a different name on their driver’s license than their voter registration card.

One reason for sustained support: fully 40 percent of all voters (48% of Republicans) agree that “cases of people voting in the name of someone else are commonplace,” despite the lack of hard evidence.

Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to say adopting the law is a high priority – but it’s a minority in both parties (47% of Republican vs. 24% of Democrats). Meanwhile, 65 percent of Republicans also say voters without an ID should not be turned away at the polls if they sign an attestation and provide a verifiable identifying number.

“Overall, a photo ID is a lower priority for voters than for politicians, and ordinary voters are more reasonable in how they would apply it,” said Nicholas. “I’m sure they would not understand why legislators would pass a law that says a photo ID from a public college is acceptable but one from a private college is not.”

The poll of 803 voters who mirror the make-up of North Carolina’s 6.4 million registered voters was conducted between April 11 and April 14, with a 3.5 percent margin of error. In addition to the League, it was co-sponsored by the election reform group Democracy North Carolina. Both organizations oppose the voter ID legislation.


  1. Doug

    April 17, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Looks like some good results in favor of the current bill. I am surprised the liberal sponsors let this thing out. Thanks for posting.

  2. david esmay

    April 17, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    I’m not surprised that conservatives ignore the caveats included in the poll, the absence of any verifiable evidence of voter fraud, the fact that it is basically an unconstitutional poll tax, or what the costs that will be incurred to provide free state issued ID’s and the ensuing cost of litigation.

    Huge waste of time, money, and resources on a fictitious problem, in a state hampered by low economic growth and high unemployment.

  3. Doug

    April 17, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Huge waste of time…..that the dems used to spend oh so much time on:


    Hello, pot…this is kettle….you are black.

    Also, don’t forget to go to this story to read how the numbers of people without ID are being cut approximately in half. Who would have thought that most people in moder society already have ID? That is except for the fake voters the dems trot in at election time.


  4. Chris

    April 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    From that first link, the 1980 election thing sounds legit. Why vote straight ticket when you turn around and NOT vote straight ticket unless you don’t want your vote counted at all? Simple logic of “If a, then a”.

    The other thing, about making absentee voting more difficult, wasn’t verified by a Google search, and yet again a certain ilk on the internet who can’t back up anything they say with evidence. I can see why the linked article from Doug has no comments on Talkingaboutpolitics.com, because all it is just ‘talking’ and not properly asserting anything. It could well just be “fabricatingaboutpolitics.com”.

    As for the second link, does the cost of this pointless venture make up for the fact voter fraud is so exceptionally rare? Add this unnecessary waste with the attempt to drug test the poor on the government dole (but not any of the legislators who definitely should be, because whatever drugs they are on puts them in a perpetual fantasy existence) and the wasteful spending from Republicans continue to skyrocket. Republicans should give up on the old lie that they are for “small government” and “fiscally responsible”.

  5. Doug

    April 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Voter fraud is “exceptionally rare” because there have been no real efforts to uncover or thwart the efforts. Until you look for it you will not find it.

  6. Chris

    April 18, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Then shouldn’t the effort be put into PROVING the claim that it is widespread instead of making unnecessary, costly changes? It’s like the rationale leading up to the optional Iraq War debacle, all done under false pretenses.

    Next Republicans should sabre-rattle $1 billion into a war to hunt down and kill the Loch Ness Monster. Same difference.

  7. Doug

    April 19, 2013 at 10:52 am

    That is what is happening. You have to have a method to prove it….via letting them know who you are. You guys are in a circular argument with yourselves, a regular chicken and the egg thing. You can’t prove fraud! – there is no way to prove fraud – lets not put in place something to prove fraud! – you can’t prove fruad………

    A good example is that I still have not gotten anyone on this site to give me their name, address, and voting precinct so I can get to the polls before them. I guess someone is afraid I could show up and vote for them. esmay won’t do it, I think jlp was on a message thread where I asked that, how about you “chris”? We can have a race to the polls the next time election day comes around.

  8. Chris

    April 19, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    I’m not particularly interested in having an anonymous internet stalker who lacks the basic grasp of logic and reason. I’m certain others on here feel the same way. They aren’t putting into place something to detect fraud, they are putting into place something to combat fraud AS IF it is a widespread problem. Besides, from the end of this WSJ article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443864204577621732936167586.html

    “One rare point of agreement among most experts: Absentee-ballot fraud is a far bigger problem than voter-impersonation fraud—about 50 times more common, says News21—and voter-ID laws won’t stop it.”

    Meanwhile what isn’t being combated? Corrupt politicians, out-of-control lobbying, campaign finance corruption, gerrymandered districts, and a broken Congress that won’t fix itself much less the country.

    But yeah, that fraction of a fraction of a fraction of voter fraud that doesn’t even swing an election… that’s such a big concern.

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