Photo ID – Facts vs Myths

Photo ID – Facts vs Myths

drivers license

22 places You Need a Photo ID


Myths about Photo ID Requirements


Myth: Requiring photo ID is the same as a new “poll tax.”

Response: The Federal Voting Rights Act and constitutional jurisprudence are quite clear that states are not allowed to set any requirements to vote that requires an outlay of money on the part of the voter. Since Ohio and many states require a fee to obtain a state ID or driver’s license, photo ID bills typically include provisions to address this concern.


Myth: 11% of potential registered voters (usually includes a cite from the Brennan Center for Justice) do not have some form of photo ID.

Response: The information from the Brennan Center was obtained via survey in 2006. While analysis has not yet been performed in Ohio, Kansas found that more photo IDs were in circulation than Kansas had voting age citizens in the 2010 census. Given the nearly ubiquitous need for photo ID in our society, this is a specious argument. Also, note that anti photo proponents talking points frequently accuse photo ID supporters of attempting to disenfranchise the poor. Even those on government assistance need photo IDs in order to cash checks, obtain welfare, get direct deposit for social security purchase cigarettes or alcohol.


Myth: Requiring photo ID is a form of voter suppression targeted at minority voters in particular.

Response: Since passing stricter photo ID requirements, both Georgia and Indiana have seen increases in participation overall and with minority voters.


Myth: Voter fraud prosecutions are exceedingly rare; therefore this law is not needed.

Response: Without photo ID requirements, it is nearly impossible to discover or prove fraud cases. Regardless, Ohio has an interest in implementing reasonable requirements to deter fraud and to ensure public confidence in our elections process. The recent spate of high profile litigation of elections outcomes makes this all the more important.


Myth: College IDs are not allowed in an effort to disenfranchise college students which are likely one party voters.

Response: The reason college IDs are not allowed is that they do not include the fraud protections found in driver’s licenses, state IDs and passports, nor are their rigorous checks at issuance to prevent inaccurate college IDs from being created. Requiring state issued ID to vote also deters college students from voting in multiple locations. College students born in Ohio should already have normal state issued ID or driver’s license or can obtain them for free. Out-of-state college students should generally vote in what is considered their permanent residence. If their permanent residence is in their home state, they should vote absentee. If they change their permanent residence to Ohio, they are generally required to obtain a driver’s license or state ID from Ohio.


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