New State Voting Laws: Barriers to the Ballot Snip: Actual election results also confirm that voter ID does not hurt minority turnout. Voting in both Georgia and Indiana increased more dramatically in 2008 in both the presidential preference primary and the general election in the first presidential elections held after their photo ID laws went into effect than in some states without photo ID. There was record turnout in Georgia in the 2008 presidential primary electionover 2 million voters, more than twice as many as in 2004 when the photo ID law was not in effect (the law was first applied to local elections in 2007). The number of African-Americans voting in the 2008 primary also doubled from 2004. In fact, there were 100,000 more votes in the Democratic Primary than in the Republican Primary. In the 2008 general election when President Obama was elected, Georgia, with one of the strictest voter ID laws in the nation, had the largest turnout in its historymore than 4 million voters. Democratic turnout was up an astonishing 6.1 percentage points from the 2004 election when there was no photo ID requirement, the fifth largest increase of any state. Overall turnout in Georgia went up 6.7 percentage points, the second highest increase in the country, a striking increase even in an election year where there was general increase in turnout over the prior presidential election. The black share of the statewide vote increased from 25% in 2004 to 30% in 2008 according to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. According to Census Bureau surveys, 65% of the black voting age population voted in the 2008 election compared to only 54.4% in 2004, an increase of over 10 percentage points. By contrast, the Democratic turnout in the nearby state of Mississippi, also a state with a high percentage of black voters but without a voter ID requirement, increased by only 2.35 percentage points. Turnout in the 2010 congressional election in Georgia was over 2.6 million voters an increase of almost 500,000 voters over the 2006 election. While only 42.9% of registered black Georgians voted in 2006, 50.4% voted in 2010 with the voter ID law in effect, an increase of over seven percentage points. As Georgias Secretary of State recently pointed out, when compared to the 2006 election, voter turnout in 2010 among African Americans outpaced the growth of that populations pool of registered voters by more than 20 percentage points. The Georgia voter ID requirement was upheld in final orders issued by every state and federal court in Georgia that reviewed the law, including the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the Supreme Court of Georgia. These courts held that such an ID requirement is not discriminatory and does not violate the Constitution or any federal voting rights laws, including the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Just as has happened in every state that has considered voter ID legislation, organizations in Georgia like the ACLU and the NAACP made apocalyptic claims that there were hundreds of thousands of Georgians without photo ID. Yet when the federal district court dismissed all of their claims, the court pointed out that after two years of litigation, none of the plaintiff organizations had been able to produce a single individual who did not have a photo ID or could not easily obtain one. The district court judge concluded that this failure to identify those individuals is particularly acute in light of the Plaintiffs contention that a large number of Georgia voters lack acceptable Photo ID the fact that Plaintiffs, in spite of their efforts, have failed to uncover anyone who can attest to the fact that he/she will be prevented from voting provides significant support for a conclusion that the photo ID requirement does not unduly burden the right to vote. In Indiana, which the U.S. Supreme Court said has the strictest voter ID law in the country, turnout in the Democratic presidential preference primary in 2008 quadrupled from the 2004 election when the photo ID law was not in effectin fact, there were 862,000 more votes cast in the Democratic primary than the Republican primary. In the general election in November, the turnout of Democratic voters increased by 8.32 percentage points from 2004, the largest increase in Democratic turnout of any state in the nation. According to Census Bureau surveys, 59.2% of the black voting age population voted in the 2008 election compared to only 53.8% in 2004, an increase of over 5 percentage points. The neighboring state of Illinois, with no photo ID requirement and President Obamas home state, had an increase in Democratic turnout of only 4.4 percentage pointsonly half of Indianas increase. Turnout in the 2010 congressional election in Indiana was almost 1.75 million votersan increase of more than 77,000 voters over the 2006 election. According to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Indiana was one of the states with a large and impressive increase in black turnout in the 2010 election: the black share of the state vote was higher in 2010 than it was in 2008, a banner year for black turnout. In fact, the black share of the total vote went from only seven percent in 2008 to 12 percent in 2010. Just as in Georgia, the federal court in Indiana noted the complete inability of the plaintiffs to produce anyone who would not be able to vote because of the photo ID law: Despite apocalyptic assertions of wholesale voter disenfranchisement, Plaintiffs have produced not a single piece of evidence of any identifiable registered voter who would be prevented from voting pursuant to [the photo ID law] because of his or her inability to obtain the necessary photo identification. Similarly, Plaintiffs have failed to produce any evidence of any individual, registered or unregistered, who would have to obtain photo identification in order to vote, let alone anyone who would undergo any appreciable hardship to obtain photo identification in order to be qualified to vote. Some erroneously claim that requiring an ID, even when the state will provide a free ID, amounts to a poll tax because of the incidental costs like possible travel to a registrars office or obtaining a birth certificate that may be involved. The federal court in Georgia dismissed this claim, agreeing with the Indiana federal court that concluded that such an: argument represents a dramatic overstatement of what fairly constitutes a poll tax. Thus, the imposition of tangential burdens does not transform a regulation into a poll tax. Moreover, the cost of time and transportation cannot plausibly qualify as a prohibited poll tax because those same costs also result from voter registration and in-person voting requirements, which one would not reasonably construe as a poll tax. As a general matter, statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation show that there are currently 205,781,457 valid drivers licenses issued by states across the country for individuals 18 years of age or older, while the U.S. Election Assistance Commission cites 186,874,157 total registered voters. That means there are almost 19 million more drivers licenses than registered voters nationwide. This number does not even include the additional 3 or 4 percent of individuals who, according to a Federal Election Commission study, have an identification card issued by state motor vehicle agencies in lieu of a drivers license.