Lawsuits across the US over voter ID laws crawling on as the 2024 presidential election approaches
The lawsuits continue while polls a majority of Americans and states support voter ID. Opponents of voter ID laws argue that the laws are discriminatory and prevent minorities and underprivileged citizens from voting.
Lawsuits regarding state laws on voter ID, a popular election integrity measure among U.S. citizens, are dragging on as the 2024 presidential election is just a year away.
At least five states have recently or are currently facing lawsuits regarding voter ID requirements. Voter ID laws are largely popular among U.S. citizens, according to recent polls, but voting rights groups argue that such measures are discriminatory. In Ohio, for example, challengers against voter ID laws have said in court papers that the laws make it "significantly harder for lawful voters—particularly young, elderly, and Black Ohioans, as well as military servicemembers and other Ohioans living abroad" to exercise their right to vote.
A July poll by the Honest Elections Project found that 88% of registered voters support photo ID requirements for voting.
Only 9% say such requirements should be eliminated because some voters may lack an ID. A total of 80% of respondents preferred that free IDs be offered to voters who do not have one, which states with voter ID requirements already do.
Similarly, an October 2022 Gallup poll found that 79% of Americans support requiring a photo ID to vote at polling places.
As the election integrity measure is popular among voters, a majority of states have enacted voter ID legislation.
According to an analysis by the Movement Advancement Project:
- 11 states require photo ID to vote and have additional steps that are required if the voter doesn’t have an ID;
- Four states require non-photo ID and have additional steps that are required if the voter doesn’t have an ID;
- 13 states request photo ID but do not have additional steps that a voter has to go through if they don’t have the ID; and
- 22 states and Washington, D.C., don’t request ID or request non-photo ID without having additional steps for a voter to complete if they don’t have the ID.
Lawsuits brought against voter ID legislation argue that the election integrity measure makes voting more difficult and discriminates against minority voters. The Elias Law Group filed a lawsuit this year against Ohio state and county officials regarding the state’s new voter ID law that argued that the legislation “will severely restrict Ohioans’ access to the polls.”
However, Derek Lyons, President and CEO of Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections (RITE), whose organization supports voter ID laws and is involved in the Ohio lawsuit, argues that voter ID is beneficial.
“Ohio is well within its rights to protect its ballot box reforms like voter ID serve the public’s need for accurate and unbiased election administration," Lyons said in a statement last month. "The new rules also support a quick and accurate counting of the votes, giving Ohioans even more reasons to have confidence in their elections. The Supreme Court has already weighed in support of similar integrity measures, and we are asking the district court to halt this case, stop these efforts to undermine election integrity, and prevent further waste of the public’s resources.”
Below is a list of current and recent court cases regarding voter ID laws.
Georgia: Last month, a U.S. district judge rejected an effort by the U.S. Justice Department to stop portions of the state's 2021 Election Integrity Act, including a voter ID requirement for absentee voting. The court found that the provisions were not discriminatory.
Idaho: Two lawsuits are challenging state voter ID House Bills 124 and 340, which were passed earlier this year. HB 124 makes student IDs no longer a valid form for voter ID, and HB 340 requires no-fee ID cards to be issued by the Idaho Department of Transportation. One lawsuit, brought to the state court by Babe Vote and the League of Women Voters in Idaho, was dismissed last month, local news outlet KTVB-TV reported. The two groups have said that they will appeal. Meanwhile, March for Our Lives Idaho and the Idaho Alliance for Retired Americans filed a lawsuit against both House bills in the U.S. District Court. Judge Amanda Brailsford ruled that the plaintiffs sufficiently demonstrated they may be harmed by the laws rejected the state's motion to dismiss the case, according to The Moscow-Pullman Daily News.
New Hampshire: Hillsborough Superior Court dismissed a lawsuit that consolidated two cases regarding the state’s voter ID law passed last year. The law, SB 418, requires voters who do not show their ID for casting a ballot to be given a provisional ballot and send identification within a week. “In this case, the organizational plaintiffs have failed to identify any … type of right of theirs that is being impeded by the provisions of SB 418,” the court ruled. The case was dismissed just months before the state presidential primary election is expected to take place.
North Carolina: A 2018 state voter ID law is still being challenged in court, The Carolina Journal reported. Voters are required to present photo ID for this year’s and next year’s elections, unless the voter ID law is blocked by a federal court. The North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, who brought the lawsuit, is seeking a Feb. 5, 2024, trial. The state’s absentee voting will begin Jan. 12, with in-person early voting taking place from Feb. 15 to March 2.
Ohio: The Elias Law Group filed the case against county and state officials on behalf of the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans, Union Veterans Council and Civic Influencers. The voter ID provision of the bill requires voters to present a photo ID they can obtain for free to vote in person. The county and state officials are seeking a summary judgment in the case.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook
- poll by the Honest Elections Project
- October 2022 Gallup poll
- enacted voter ID legislation
- analysis by the Movement Advancement Project
- filed a lawsuit
- lawsuit specifically mentions
- Ohio lawsuit
- Lyons said in a statement
- voter ID requirement
- court found
- HB 124
- HB 340
- local news outlet KTVB-TV reported
- according to Moscow-Pullman Daily News
- dismissed a lawsuit
- the court ruled
- The Carolina Journal reported
- Elias Law Group filed