Daniel J. Hopkins, Marc Merdith, Michael Morse, Sarah Smith, and Jesse Yoder have written this article for the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. Here is the abstract:
One contentious question in contemporary election administration is the impact of voter identification requirements. We study a Virginia law that allows us to isolate the impact of requiring voters to show photo identification. Using novel, precinct-level data, we find that the percentage of registered voters without a driver’s license and over age 85 are both positively associated with the number of provisional ballots cast due to a lack of a photo ID. To examine the law’s impact on turnout, we associate precinct-level demographics with the change in turnout between the 2013 gubernatorial and 2014 midterm elections. All else equal, turnout was higher in places where more active registered voters lacked a driver’s license. This unexpected relationship might be explained by a targeted Department of Elections mailing, suggesting that the initial impact of voter ID laws may hinge on efforts to notify voters likely to be affected.