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How do voter ID laws correlate to swing states?

August 22, 2012 by NCC Staff


Do voter ID laws target swing states that could decide the 2012 presidential election, as well as congressional elections?

By the numbers, a higher percentage of swing states have passed legislation that requires photo or non-photo IDs at the polls. But fewer laws are currently in effect in the swing states.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 33 states have enacted voter ID laws in recent years, and three others passed laws that were vetoed by governors.

So the national voter ID average is about 72 percent, for those states that have active laws or have passed provisional laws to make voter ID happen.

The number for the 12 states considered swing or battleground states is 83.3 percent, for those who passed laws.

Voter ID In Swing States
Colorado Yes Non-photo
Florida Yes Photo ID
Iowa No Not passed in legislature
Michigan Yes Photo
Minnesota No Vetoed by governor
Nevada No Not passed in legislature
New Hampshire Yes Legislature overrode veto
North Carolina No Vetoed by governor
Ohio Yes Non-photo
Pennsylvania Yes Strict Photo
Virginia Yes Non-photo
Wisconsin No Law ruled unconstitutional

Among the 12 states, 10 have approved voted ID laws, but four states have been blocked from enacting them. In two states—Minnesota and North Carolina—governors have successfully vetoed the law.

The courts in Wisconsin ruled that state’s voter ID law is unconstitutional, in a decision that is being challenged.

Among swing states, only Iowa and Nevada haven’t passed voter ID laws.

Virginia’s law was approved on Monday by the Justice Department. Colorado also has a voter ID law.

Four big swing states—Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania—have voter ID laws in effect, although Pennsylvania’s is in the final stages of a legal challenge.

The 12 swing states control the potential margin of victory in the presidential race. The group accounts for 156 electoral votes, out of the 271 electoral votes needed to win the White House.

In the nine states that are considered toss-up elections in the U.S. Senate race, five have voter ID laws; Wisconsin is also in the mix, as its legal case is evaluated.

Currently, the fight for control of the Senate is too close to call, with some projections showing a 50-50 tie in the general election.

Voter ID In Senate Race Swing States
Florida Yes Photo ID
Indiana No Not passed in legislature
Massachusetts No Not passed in legislature
Missouri Yes Non-photo
Montana Yes Non-photo
Nevada No Not passed in legislature
North Dakota Yes Non-photo
Virginia Yes Non-photo
Wisconsin No Law ruled unconstitutional

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