Editor’s note: This is another in a series of “WND/WENZEL POLLS” conducted exclusively for WND by the public-opinion research and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies.
Nearly 73 percent of likely voters say they agree that state and local voter ID laws that require voters to provide proof of lawful registration are a good idea, and Mitt Romney and the Republican Party have an advantage over Democrats on the issue.
The results are from a new poll conducted for WND by the public-opinion research and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies. It was taken Sept. 7-11 and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 2.99 percentage points.
“The vast majority of Americans across the political spectrum support voter identification laws that guarantee people are lawfully registered to vote,” said pollster Fritz Wenzel in his analysis.
“What I think is rather amazing is that about one out of four say they do not believe they are a good idea. Among Democrats, 36 percent said they don’t like voter ID laws, and 24 percent of independents said they feel the same way. Minorities were much more likely than white voters to feel such laws were a bad idea, including 33 percent of blacks, 37 percent of Hispanics, and 32 percent of other minorities,” he said.
The poll reveals that 55.2 percent say they strongly agree that such local laws requiring proof of registration are good, and another 17.4 percent say they somewhat agree with that. Only 12.4 percent strongly disagreed and 10.7 percent somewhat disagreed.
The divisions were about the same when asked to respond to a question about whether a requirement for a photo identification is a good thing.
Nearly 60 percent strongly supported the idea, and another 11.2 percent somewhat supported it. On the other side, only 28 percent said they strongly opposed that, or somewhat opposed it.
“Democrats have long been suspicious of photo ID laws, and that is reflected in this survey, as 44 percent of Democrats said they oppose laws that require photo ID in order to vote. Many independents feel the same way, as 35 percent said they also oppose photo ID laws. By contrast, only 6 percent of Republicans feel the same way. Among Republicans, 91 percent said they support such laws, showing this issue to be one of the most divisive facing the American electorate today,” Wenzel said.
“This is largely because 73 percent of Democrats believe photo ID laws are designed to suppress legitimate and lawful votes. Among independents, 39 percent feel the same way, but only 22 percent of Republicans agree with this line of thinking,” he said.
He said the integrity of the vote in American is important, and that’s why the process of qualifying voters is a major fight.
“In a post-ACORN world, Republicans are exceedingly suspicious of the votes that are cast in many of America’s big cities. Meanwhile, Democrats are suspicious that Republicans are trying to keep the disadvantaged from casting ballots. This fight continues to be played out in states across the country,” he said.
He said Romney has the advantage over Obama on this issue, even though it probably won’t be one that the presidential decision turns on.
“Romney appears to win a slight advantage over Obama because of his stance favoring voter ID laws. When voters learn that Obama opposes such laws, more are less likely to support him for president. By contrast, Romney wins more support for his support of such laws,” Wenzel said.
The issue is especially heated this year, with a group that backs Obama lobbying for felons in Virginia to be given back their voting rights before the November election. That’s a campaign being pursued by the Advancement Project.
That describes itself as a “multi-racial civil rights organization” that works “‘on the ground’ helping organized communities of color dismantle and reform the unjust and inequitable policies that undermine the promise of democracy.” The organization states, “Simultaneously, we have aggressively sought and seized opportunities to promote this approach to racial justice.”
The same organization is in a pitched battle in Pennsylvania over that state’s voter ID law, which is pending in the courts. A judge in Texas recently struck that state’s photo ID requirement, and other states are taking up similar arguments.
As WND senior staff reporter Aaron Klein reported, the Brennan Center for Justice is another major leftist group with a history of biased research that’s behind the national campaign to paint voter ID laws as racist. Klein noted that the voter ID data collected by the group has been called into question by experts and has been contradicted by other credible studies. Yet the center’s information is cited widely by news media and even members of the Obama administration.
Nonetheless, the Advancement Project and the Brennan Center have joined forces to create a “Talking About Voting 2012” toolkit with talking points for people to use against voter ID laws when speaking with potential voters.
Some of those talking points include:
- “Unfair voting laws are being passed by politicians who are trying to manipulate the system for their own benefit – because they don’t like what voters have to say.”
- “It’s wrong to pass laws for political gain that take away the right to vote from millions of eligible citizens, including seniors and veterans.”
- “As the world’s leading democracy, we can’t pass laws that block some eligible Americans from voting, or that deny them the opportunity to participate equally in our democracy.”
- “Emphasize the need for flexibility in ID laws, and that ‘one size doesn’t fit all.'”
See detailed results of survey questions: