Who Votes Without Identification? Using Individual-Level Administrative Data to Measure the Burden of Strict Voter Identification Laws

Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Forthcoming

31 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2018 Last revised: 30 Jun 2021

See all articles by Phoebe Henninger

Phoebe Henninger

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Marc Meredith

University of Pennsylvania

Michael Morse

University of Chicago Law School

Date Written: June 1, 2021

Abstract

Prior work often mischaracterizes who is burdened by strict voter identification (ID) laws, either by assuming that everyone who does not possess ID is burdened by the law or that those who do possess ID cannot be burdened. But many people without ID are unlikely to vote, and some people with ID may not have access to it on Election Day. Given this, we better measure who is burdened by studying Michigan's 2016 presidential election, where someone who lacked access to ID could nonetheless vote after signing an adavit. A random sample of affidavits reveal that about 0.45 percent of voters lacked access to ID, nearly all of whom possessed state-issued identification. Non-white voters are about five times more likely to lack access to ID than white voters. While lacking access to ID did not legally prevent anyone from voting, survey evidence suggests that not all voters understand this.

Suggested Citation

Henninger, Phoebe and Meredith, Marc and Morse, Michael, Who Votes Without Identification? Using Individual-Level Administrative Data to Measure the Burden of Strict Voter Identification Laws (June 1, 2021). Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3205769 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3205769

Phoebe Henninger

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

500 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Marc Meredith (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Michael Morse

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

1111 E 60th St
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/morse

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