New DNC Voting Rights Institute Report: The Real Cost of Photo ID

The DNC Voting Rights Institute today released a new report, The Real Cost of Photo ID, on the cost incurred on states when implementing photo ID laws. The report undercuts Republican arguments calling for such laws and spells out the extraordinary cost to states.


Read The Real Cost of Photo ID: An Unnecessary, Expensive and Intrusive Voter Restriction in a Time of Fiscal Crisis here.


Read DNC Vice Chair of Voter Registration & Participation Donna Brazile’s USA Today column, GOP’s 2012 Game Plan is to Keep Voters Home, on photo ID laws here.

Photo ID Laws: Changing the Face of the Electorate for Republican Gain

Posted by Will Crossley, DNC Counsel and Director of Voter Protection on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 5:27 PM

In USA Today this week, Donna Brazile, DNC Vice Chair of Voter Registration & Participation, calls out Republican lawmakers for their efforts to push election laws that will cost taxpayers millions -- and disenfranchise countless voters.  She writes:

"Across America, Republican lawmakers have talked a big game about cutting budgets, but they also are seeking reductions to something much more fundamental: Americans' voting rights. From coast to coast, the GOP is engaged in what appears to be a coordinated, expensive effort to block voters from the polls… In more than 30 states, GOP legislators are on the move, from a sweeping rewrite of Florida's election laws to new rules for photo identification in Ohio, Wisconsin, North Carolina and more than 20 other states.”

The DNC Voting Rights Institute today released a report highlighting the burdensome cost states would incur implementing photo ID laws.  The report found that not only has the underlying argument in support of such laws been found to be completely baseless, but states can ill afford the extraordinary costs of their implementation.  You can read the report, The Real Cost of Photo IDhere.

The consequences of these laws can’t be overstated.  As Brazile writes of photo ID laws, 11% of Americans – more than 21 million citizens of voting age – don’t have the type of ID they would be required to present before voting.  And, she notes, those without photo identification are disproportionately low-income, minority voters, young voters, older voters and the disabled. 

Brazile also highlights the fiscal impact of photo ID – and writes that Republican legislators have ignored their high cost.  Indiana spent more than $10 million dollars in the first four fiscal years of implementation, to provide free ID cards – just one of many costs associated with photo ID laws.

Brazile concludes:

“…[T]hese voting hurdles won't improve the integrity of our elections, but they will change the face of the electorate….  In my career, I have felt the elation of a hard-fought, successful campaign and the crushing defeat of an equally grueling loss. I've learned that campaigns are about which side makes the more compelling case to the electorate. This is what makes our democracy great. What the GOP is attempting to do is change the rules of the game, leaving only their players on the field.”

You can read the rest of Brazile’s article here.