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Do Strict, Photo Voter Identification Laws Affect Young Voter Turnout?

Voter identification laws have had an impact on voter turnout since 1950 when the laws were first implemented. While the first set of voter identification laws was relatively simple and only required a document with the voter’s name on it, the laws have become increasingly stricter with fewer forms of identification accepted at the polls. In states with the most rigorous sets of voter identification laws (states with both strict and photo voter identification laws), voters are required to present a government-issued form of identification with a photo; if the voter does not have the proper form of identification, then he or she must vote on a provisional ballot, obtain the correct form of identification and present it to his or her election commission before the ballot will be counted. These laws target specific groups such as minorities, the elderly, the poor, and the young. In this analysis, I seek to answer this question: Do strict, photo voter identification laws affect young voter turnout? Morgan Chance will analyze young voter turnout, which is defined as turnout among voters between the ages of 18 and 24, in presidential elections from 1996-2012 and in off-year congressional elections in 2002, 2010, and 2014.

Chance, Morgan Senior Thesis

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