Voter ID laws combat voter participation, not voter fraud. These laws may prevent 10% of people who are supposed to vote and addresses a problem that is generally non existent. The real design is to drive down Democratic base participation.
And the truth, at least in the Keystone State, is that Republicans are prepared to block a huge chunk of the voting-age population from participating in their own democracy.
Nearly 10 percent of Pennsylvania’s registered voters do not have photo identification cards from the state transportation department and could be ineligible to vote in November under the state’s new Republican-backed voter ID law.
The Pennsylvania Department of State reported Tuesday that more than 758,000 registered voters lack a standard driver’s license or a non-driver photo ID. That’s 9.2 percent of the state’s 8.2 million voters.
In Philadelphia, where Democrats outnumber Republicans by about 6-1, 18 percent of the city’s registered voters do not have the state photo ID, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
In 2008: 132,653,958 out of 213,313,508 elligible people voted in 2008 (around 62.2%). 131,304,731 voted for the highest office (federal or statewide executive). There are 10% of voters who don’t have voter ID (via Ari Berman at Rolling Stone):
More than 10 percent of U.S. citizens lack such identification, and the numbers are even higher among constituencies that traditionally lean Democratic – including 18 percent of young voters and 25 percent of African-Americans.[…]
Even at the time, there was no evidence to back up such outlandish claims. A major probe by the Justice Department between 2002 and 2007 failed to prosecute a single person for going to the polls and impersonating an eligible voter, which the anti-fraud laws are supposedly designed to stop. Out of the 300 million votes cast in that period, federal prosecutors convicted only 86 people for voter fraud – and many of the cases involved immigrants and former felons who were simply unaware of their ineligibility.
86 out of 300m voters convicted of voter fraud. That’s when George W Bush appointee Attorney General John Ashcroft was beating the couch cushions to show there was a problem. 2.866666666666667e-7 cases of voter fraud. Literally, the problem has no discernible affect on our Democracy.