November 2, 2012

Broad Support for Photo ID Voting Requirements


Three-quarters of registered voters say voters should be required to show an official photo ID before casting their ballot.

Proposals to require voters to show photo identification before being allowed to vote draw overwhelming support. By 77% to 20%, registered voters favor a requirement that those voting be required to show photo ID. Opinion about this is little changed from six years ago, when 80% of voters supported voter photo ID requirements.

Several states have enacted strict photo ID voting requirements, but there have been court challenges to many of these laws. Last month, a Pennsylvania judge blocked enforcement of that state’s voter ID law.

In a national survey of 1,263 registered voters, conducted Sept. 12-16 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, nearly all (98%) say they are confident that they have the identification they will need at the polls on Nov. 6.

There are partisan differences in views of photo ID requirements for voters, though majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and independents favor such requirements. Fully 95% of Republican voters say a photo ID should be required to vote, as do 83% of independents. By comparison, 61% of Democrats who say photo identification should be required; 34% say it should not. Liberal Democrats are about equally divided on this question (46% should be required, 48% should not).

A separate Pew Hispanic Center survey finds that 71% of Latino registered voters say that voters should be required to show an official photo ID before they vote. And nearly all (97%) say they are confident they have the ID they need to vote on Election Day. Read More