by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
Rasmussen is reporting the following results for its recent national poll of likely voters:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 75% of Likely U.S. Voters believe voters should be required to show photo identification such as a driver’s license before being allowed to vote. Only 21% are opposed to such a requirement.
Here in North Carolina, the recent Civitas Poll showed 61% support for photo I.D.,
with fascinating details revealed when you drill down further.
There is a significant shift in opinion on voter I.D. based on age, with 69% of likely voters 65 and older in favor of showing identification whereas only 45% of 18-34 year old likely voters hold this opinion. Support for voter I.D. also varies significantly by race, with 69% of whites in favor, 33% of blacks, 51% of Hispanics, and 73% of those identifying as any other race or ethnicity.
The I.D. approval rate is in line with results from the 2018 general election, when North Carolinians approved an amendment to the state constitution to require a photo I.D. to vote. The amendment passed with 55% approval. It has been challenged in the courts and has not been implemented.
Common sense tells us that requiring identification to vote is a key element of election integrity. We have work to do in this area. Unfortunately, the Civitas Poll also revealed an alarming fear among North Carolinians that our next elections will not be free and fair.
Unsurprisingly, Republicans communicated significantly more skepticism about 2022 election security than Democrats, with only 27% of registered Republicans stating their confidence in the election while 73% of Democrats expressed certainty. Unaffiliated voters were split on this question, with 45% saying they believe 2022 elections will be free and fair. Some 43% say they do not believe the elections will be free and fair.
The brewing concern is underscored in the ranking of issues deemed most important by likely voters. When asked to choose two issues that are most important to them, one in three — 31% — chose election integrity.
Requiring a photo I.D. to vote will help tamp down this brewing distrust.