Rasmussen Poll Finds Strong Support for Voter ID Laws

Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 02:44 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Voters still strongly support state voter ID laws and don't believe they discriminate, even though the Department of Justice has filed challenges in hopes of striking them down, a new Rasmussen Reports poll shows.

The poll showed that 74 percent of the 1,000 likely voters surveyed Aug. 14-15 believe all voters should have to prove their identities before they cast ballots, with 19 percent disagreeing.

Rasmussen's survey came on the heels of a federal judge's ruling in North Carolina that rejected a Department of Justice challenge to the state's law requiring voters to provide a voter ID at the polls.

Vice President Joe Biden said earlier this year that he hopes Congress will pass new legislation to modernize the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, which he says will counter "hatred" behind voter identification laws in North Carolina, Alabama, and Texas.

Voters' opinions have not changed much over the years when it comes to  ID laws. Support reached a high of 82 percent in August 2010, Rasmussen said, but voters have approved of the laws in surveys dating back to 2006.

Just over a quarter of the voters, at 28 percent, believe photo ID laws are discriminatory, but 61 percent disagree.

While federal challenges claim that strict registration and ID laws try to hinder minority voters from casting ballots, 56 percent of the Rasmussen poll's respondents said the officials who present the laws are more interested in keeping people who are not eligible from voting.

One-third, or 33 percent, of the respondents, said they believe the laws focus more on stopping people from voting, and 11 percent were not sure.

A majority of the voters, 61 percent, said they believe voter fraud is a serious problem in the United States, up three points from 58 percent last year. But for 30 percent of the voters, fraud is not considered a serious problem.

In addition, 71 percent of voters believe proof of citizenship should be shown before people can vote, but 58 percent of voters do not think such a requirement discriminates.

The survey also showed that 94 percent of Republicans favor voter ID laws, with 56 percent of Democrats in favor and 76 percent of nonaffiliated voters.

And 85 percent of the Republicans participating in the survey and 65 percent of unaffiliated voters said the laws don't discriminate, compared to 36 percent of Democrats.

While civil rights groups are joining with the Justice Department to challenge voter ID laws, 64 percent of black voters agree with the laws, compared to 76 percent of white voters, and 70 percent of other minority voters. Only 26 percent of black voters believe the ID laws discriminate, but 40 percent were not sure. Meanwhile, 65 percent of white voters and 57 percent from other minorities don't consider ID laws discriminatory.


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