Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Photo ID Voting Requirement

Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Photo ID Voting Requirement
A file image of voters standing in line to cast their ballots during the first day of early voting in the U.S. Senate runoff, in Atlanta, Ga., on Dec. 14, 2020. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
Bill Pan
Nearly three-quarters of Americans agree that voters should show photo identification before being allowed to vote, an Associated Press poll suggests.

Seventy-two percent of Americans participating in the survey, conducted between Mar. 26 and 29, said they are in favor of requiring all voters to provide photo ID in order to vote. Another 14 percent said they neither support nor oppose the measure, while the remaining 13 percent said they are against such a requirement.

The poll was conducted among 1,166 adults living in the United States via internet, landline, and cell phones, with a plus or minus 3.6 percent error margin. The sample was drawn using a probability-based system by the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago to represent the composition of the U.S. population.

The popularity of a voting ID requirement is supported most by Republicans, according to NORC, with 91 percent of participants who self-identified as Republicans supporting it. However, 72 percent of the Independents, and even a majority of those identifying as Democrats, at 56 percent, said they are in favor of requiring an ID to vote.

The poll also found an overall 60 percent of participants agree that adult citizens should automatically be registered to vote when they get their driver’s license or other state-issued ID, with 76 percent of Democrats and 47 percent of Republicans saying they at least somewhat support the measure.

In addition, 53 percent of participants said citizens should be allowed to register and vote on the same day at polling places. Sixty-nine percent of Democrats said they support the same-day voter registration, while only 38 percent of Republicans did.

Both automatic voter registration and same-day voter registration are part of H.R.1, a far-reaching federal election reform package proposed by the congressional Democrats. The bill, called the “For the People Act,” was passed in the House last month with a largely party-line vote of 220-210.

Critics of the H.R.1 have argued that the bill, if it becomes law as is, would transfer to the federal government from states unprecedented power to decide how elections are conducted. Some key changes that might reshape the federal-state relationship include a ban of state laws requiring voter IDs, the requirement that any state changes to voting rules must be approved by the federal government before being implemented, and the creation of “independent commissions” that take away from state legislatures the authority of redrawing congressional districts.

The fate of the bill in the Senate faces uncertainty, as it needs at least 60 supporting votes in the evenly divided upper chamber to bypass a filibuster.

President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has said he would sign the bill into law if it reaches his desk.

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