"COLUMBIA, Mo. – With the 2008 Presidential election less than a year away, many states are working to require photo identification from all voters in an attempt to curb illegal voting. Critics argue that the requirement is unconstitutional and will ultimately reduce participation in elections. However, a recent study of Indiana’s photo ID law, conducted by a University of Missouri professor, found that requiring identification doesn’t have much impact on voter turnout rates. ..."This is actually from late last year, but it is timely as today is Super Tuesday and Fat Tuesday all rolled into one. Or as one radio personality has put it, Super Fat Tuesday.
The Supreme Court of the United States also has the Indiana voter ID law on its docket this year, and a ruling is expected before summer. The Indiana law is described by many as pretty strict in its application, so one would expect that if there are harmful effects, they would be evident in the elections since the law went into effect.
Jeffrey Milyo, a professor of economics and public policy at the University of Missouri, has found in comparing the 2002 election with the 2006 election (both off-year elections) that the voter turnout did not vary significantly and in fact increased in some counties with high proportions of Democrats.
You can download the full text of The Effects of Photographic Identification on Voter Turnout in Indiana: A County Level Analysis from the University of Missouri.
My wife and I went out and voted early this morning. We showed our ID, signed the register, and chose which party's ballot we would use. The lines were not particularly long, the the ballots were pretty simple. There's a certain satisfaction in performing one of the most important duties of a citizen, even when the choices are not that exciting.