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Published December 2014 | public
Journal Article

Balancing Fraud Prevention and Electoral Participation: Attitudes Toward Voter Identification


Objective. This article examines public opinion on the effectiveness and consequences of voter identification laws, focusing on the core issue in the Supreme Court's reasoning in the 2008 case that upheld an Indiana photo-ID law, Crawford v. Marion County Election Board. Method. We use a unique survey from New Mexico, where voter identification policies have recently undergone important changes. Questions in the survey examine whether voters think that ID laws protect against fraud and prevent legitimate participation, which point of view voters find more compelling, and whether attitudes toward voter identification are related to voter confidence. Results. Most voters think that voter ID laws prevent fraud, but many voters think that ensuring access to the polls is more important than preventing fraud. Among other variables that explain differences among individuals, partisanship plays an important role. Conclusion. The framing of voter identification policies plays an important role in how such laws are interpreted by the public and Republicans are especially concerned about fraud in elections.

Additional Information

© 2014 by the Southwestern Social Science Association. Article first published online: 22 Aug 2014.

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October 19, 2023