Thursday, June 23, 2011

Big Study on Voter ID and Voter Fraud Debunks Republican Claims, urges U.S. Supreme Court to Overturn Indiana law.

Here are the facts:

Citing new evidence that Indiana's voter identification law is disenfranchising thousands of Indiana voters, lawyers at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and a coalition of voting rights organizations filed a friend-of-the-court brief today urging the U.S. Supreme Court to scuttle the Indiana law.  The brief is one of more than 20 amicus briefs being filed today by voting rights advocates, current and former Secretaries of State, law professors, historians, political scientists, student organizations, labor unions and civic, religious and civil rights organizations.  Among the key findings:

21.8% of black Indiana voters do not have access to a valid photo ID (compared to 15.8% of white Indiana voters - a 6 point gap) … The study found younger voters and older voters were both less likely to have valid ID compared to voters in the middle categories … 22% of voters 18-34 did not have ID, nor did 19.4% over the age of 70 … Those with valid ID are much more likely to be Republicans than those who do not have valid ID … 41.6% are Republicans, 32.5% are Democrats.
Voter Fraud: 

The Brennan Center, and three non-partisan voting rights organizations (Demos, Project Vote, and the People for the American Way Foundation), called on the Supreme Court to look at the facts about purported instances of voter-impersonation fraud ... "Proponents of Indiana's law claim it's needed to combat an epidemic of voter fraud, but not a single person in Indiana history has ever been accused of voter impersonation," said Justin Levitt, counsel at the Brennan Center and author of the new monograph The Truth About Voter Fraud

The brief debunks purported instances of voter impersonation fraud in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin relied on by the Court of Appeals to uphold the law in Indiana and argues that "there is no more evidence that polling-place impersonation fraud is a problem outside Indiana than there is in Indiana."

"For years this has been a debate long on sensational allegations and short on facts," said Wendy Weiser, Deputy Director of the Brennan Center's Democracy Project.  "Well, there are finally facts and they suggest that the Indiana law has nothing to do with preventing voter fraud and everything to do with suppressing the vote of minority and low-income voters, students and seniors, with a substantial partisan skew," said Weiser.

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