by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
Watch certain cable news networks and you’ll walk away thinking Americans staunchly reject as voter suppression the requirement to present photo identification when voting. Actually, no, that’s not the case. Here’s the latest polling example that shows overwhelming support for voter I.D., including among Democrats. Monmouth polled U.S. adults, finding that 80% – that’s right – 80% of U.S. adults support the idea, with six of 10 Democrats on board, too.
Support for requiring a photo ID to vote stands at 62% among Democrats, 87% among independents, and 91% among Republicans. Only Democrats back making voting by mail easier to do, with 84% supporting this idea compared to just 40% of independents and 26% of Republicans.
The Civitas Poll from earlier this year showed overwhelming support among likely North Carolina voters as well.
Six in 10 — 61% — agree that voters should present an I.D. when casting a ballot, with 53% expressing strong agreement. Thirty-four percent disagree with requiring a photo I.D. Among those who disagree, 26% do so strongly.
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.
Requiring I.D. to vote is about ensuring safe, fair elections in which every legally cast vote is counted. It is about protecting our precious right to elect our leaders and make critical policy decisions. Those who choose to be eternally suspicious are free to believe whatever they want. But the data refutes the divisive narrative, telling a much different story. Across political lines, Americans support requiring an I.D. to vote.