A little-reported Washington Post poll Monday indicated that nearly 75% of adults in the country support laws requiring voters to show official identification before casting their ballots.
“In your view, should voters in the United States be required to show official, government-issued identification — such as a drivers license — when they cast ballots on Election Day, or shouldn’t they have to do this?” pollsters asked a random sample of 2,047 adults in the country between July 18 and 29, 2012.
According to the graphs, 74% of respondents said voters “should be required” to show a valid form of identification, and 57% of the group said they felt “strongly” about the matter. The estimated margin of error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
From there, the Washington Post tried to ascertain why people are in favor of voter ID laws.
“Do you think voter fraud (pause) that is, people voting who are not eligible to do so, or voters casting multiple ballots — is a major problem, a minor problem or not a problem in presidential elections?
A staggering 81% responded that voter fraud is a problem– 48% saying it is a “major” problem, and 33% saying it is a “minor” problem.
Just 14% of respondents said voter fraud is not a problem at the current time.
But what about discrimination? Democrats and the Attorney General Eric Holder have strongly maintained that voter ID laws are discriminatory against minorities– do the respondents not care?
“Overall, which concerns you more, the potential for (voter fraud) or the potential for (denying eligible voters the right to vote)?”
Though not nearly as drastic a division as the previous answers, 44% of people said they are concerned about denying eligible voters their rights, but 49% apparently see voter fraud as a more tangible threat.
As the Washington Post pollsters neared the end of their questions, they essentially asked whether those in favor of voter ID laws are racist.
“To what extent, if at all, do you think SUPPORT for voter identification laws is based on genuine interest in fair elections?” they asked, with the presumed implication that supporters may just want to disenfranchise minorities.
57% of respondents said support for the laws is based on a “genuine interest in fair elections,” while 28% were in the middle.
Just 13% said support for voter ID laws is “not at all” based on the desire for fair elections.
After admitting the poll indicates that a majority of Americans support voter ID laws, the Washington Post seemingly felt the need to end on a sour note, essentially saying that people do not know what is best for them.
“[Big] majorities of those whom critics see as bearing the brunt of the laws are supportive of them,” the author wrote, “including about three-quarters of seniors and those with household incomes under $50,000 and two-thirds of non-whites.”
It is hard to claim that measures are being foisted on the country by alleged elitist racists, when “non-whites” and those making under $50,000 a year support the measures, but the Attorney General’s narrative has not yet changed.
Click here to read all 12 questions asked by the Washington Post.
(H/T: Weasel Zippers)