Election Deform: The Pursuit of Unwarranted Election Regulation
Election Law Journal, Vol. 11, p. 97, 2012
22 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2012 Last revised: 10 Jul 2014
Date Written: December 23, 2011
Though the demographic characteristics of American voters still differ from the characteristics of the electorate as a whole, participation in 2008 represented real progress in closing the gap. Unfortunately, a wave of new regulations in 2011 and 2012 threatens to reverse course. Worse, the burdens imposed by these new laws are not only real and inequitable, but also unnecessary — and in some cases, directly counterproductive. Through a hard look at the available data, this article reviews the demonstrated costs and benefits of three types of new election regulation: restrictions on voter registration, restrictions on early voting, and restrictions on how voters prove their identity at the polls. It concludes that while regulation of these aspects of the election process is undeniably necessary, the new laws appear unwarranted and therefore undesirable.
Keywords: voter ID, voter registration, early voting, photo ID, elections, ID, voter fraud
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