Empirically Measuring the Impact of Photo ID Over Time and Its Impact on Women

26 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2014 Last revised: 11 Feb 2015

See all articles by Michael J. Pitts

Michael J. Pitts

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Date Written: August 12, 2014

Abstract

This article is part of a series of studies related to the impact of Indiana’s photo identification law during the two presidential election cycles at which it has been implemented — 2008 and 2012. This article tracks the number of provisional ballots cast and not counted because of a lack of voter identification at Indiana’s 2012 general election. Importantly, this article also addresses an argument against photo identification laws that has became more prominent in recent years — the idea that photo identification laws disparately disfranchise female voters. This article addresses that argument by tracking the gender of those persons who cast provisional ballots due to a lack of valid photo identification — something that does not seem to have been previously done anywhere in the literature. While the research presented here allows for several conclusions, the most important of those conclusions are as follows. First, Indiana’s photo identification law has a relatively small (in relation to the total number of ballots cast) overall actual disfranchising impact on the electorate. Second, Indiana’s photo identification law’s actual disfranchising impact seems to be headed in a downward direction when one compares data from the 2012 general election to the 2008 general election. Third, Indiana’s photo identification law appears to have a disparate impact on women.

Keywords: voter identification, photo identification, disparate impact, election law, voting rights, election administration, indiana law, gender discrimination

Suggested Citation

Pitts, Michael J., Empirically Measuring the Impact of Photo ID Over Time and Its Impact on Women (August 12, 2014). 48 Indiana Law Review 605 (2015); Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Research Paper No. 2014-29. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2479500

Michael J. Pitts (Contact Author)

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law ( email )

530 West New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States

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