The Balance Between Preventing Fraud and Ensuring Participation: Attitudes Towards Voter Identification in New Mexico

Working Paper No.: 
106
Date Published: 
07/01/2011
Author(s): 
R. Michael Alvarez
Caltech
Lonna Rae Atkeson

This paper examines public opinion on the effectiveness and consequences of voter identification laws in New Mexico. In particular, it focuses on the attitudes central to the court reasoning in the 2008 Supreme Court case which upheld an Indiana photo-ID law, Crawford v. Marion County Election Board. Questions include whether or not voters think the ID laws protect against fraud and prevent legitimate participation, as well as which point of view voters find more compelling and whether or not attitudes towards voter identification are related to voter confidence. While most voters think that voter ID laws prevent fraud, 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.

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