Contact: Andrew Goldston, 646–292–8372 | Jeanine Plant-Chirlin, 646–292–8322
New York – New voter I.D. policies under consideration in a number of states could dramatically increase state election administration budgets, according to a new Brennan Center report released today.
Alabama, Kansas, Minnesota, Texas and Wisconsin are among the states currently considering these new voter I.D. policies. Based on figures from Missouri and Indiana, election-related costs under the new policies could increase by more than 50 percent.
The Brennan Center paper analyzes relevant case law and Federal statutes to determine what additional costs states must incur for certain proposed voter I.D. policies to meet constitutional requirements set by the courts.
Among the possible additional costs:
- Revenue loss due to the elimination of fees for government-issued photo I.D. cards and documents required as prerequisites to obtaining government-issued I.D.
- Significant additional equipment and / or personnel costs (e.g. I.D. scanning equipment, extra poll site workers)
- Additional offices and extended open hours for government agencies that issue photo I.D.
- Outreach and public education to inform voters of the new policies and to ensure members of groups more likely to be without valid I.D. (e.g. older voters, minority groups, students) have easy access to obtain I.D.
The paper explains that states considering stringent photo I.D. requirements will likely need to significantly broaden access to government-issued photo I.D.
In addition to posing millions of dollars in new costs for states already facing budget crunches, these policies would erect new barriers to voting for the estimated 33 million American citizens who are currently without government-issued photo I.D.
The paper was authored by Brennan Center attorneys Vishal Agraharkar, Wendy Weiser, and Adam Skaggs.