A lot of studies have found out that compulsory registration for voter ID card primarily hurts minorities like African Americans and so most Republican states are deploying it.

Link - https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/3/15/14909764/study-voter-id-racism

But how can compulsory IDs hurt voting rights of minorities in U.S. . Where as Compulsory voting IDs is what saves elections in India (which is the world's biggest democracy) from major voter frauds.

  • The link you've posted reflects one study, and specifically weakens the premise of your question. Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 17:49
  • @DrunkCynic well this is the same argument republicans use to counter the idea of climate change. Well I can provide you link to more studies linked with this topic.
    – user17709
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 17:52
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    It's pretty basic math: a higher proportion of minorities (and elderly, and poor) currently don't have a state-issued ID than the general population. And it may be difficult or impossible for them to get it (due to cost, time, transportation, or due to lack of other identification). So new laws requiring state ID to vote disproportionately impact them.
    – BradC
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 18:13

1 Answer 1


My (admittedly superficial) understanding of the problem is that it's about making it compulsory to have an ID to vote, more than about the ID itself (which de facto exists for nearly all americans, in the form of a social security number).

This means an extra administrative step on the road to voting, and an opportunity to add any number of potholes along the way for minorities an administration doesn't want to see voting.

Keep in mind that the southern US states are a place where revisionism about the civil war, racial segregation, and the KKK were all a thing. As an example of pothole that already exists today, one issue is that voting in the US can occur during a week day, and it's not beneath some employers to disallow part or all of their staff to take an hour or two off to vote.

For an example closer to home, picture laws designed to infringe this or that minority or caste's right to vote and run for elections.

  • There's plenty of historical baggage surrounding Jim Crow Laws and poll taxes (which were made unconstitutional with the 24th Amendment). Minorities are understandably highly sensitive to anything that may look similar in practice if not in name.
    – user5155
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 18:27
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    -1: (1) it's only very small minority of states that don't require time off to vote, and most of those are actually NOT Southern. My cursory glance had 4 S and 5 or 6 N states (2) Every state I know off allows absentee ballots, plus some that occur in #1 allow no-excuse absentee ballots. (3) aside from a small handful of anecdotal edge cases, there's no evidence that minorities have trouble obtaining required IDs compared to anyone else (that MAY have been true in 1960s, but absolutely false in 2018).
    – user4012
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 18:33
  • @DenisdeBernardy - you need to look at per-state tables (missing from that Wiki as far as I can tell) for both absentee and time off to vote breakdowns. Yes in theory Federal law would help. In practice, it's as close to "you can vote if you really bother" as you can practically get even now. If you combine early, absentee, extended poll hours and right to time off, I suspect nearly 100% of US population is covered. Maybe South Carolina and Louisiana aren't, if I had to make a random guess.
    – user4012
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 18:41