Why do minorities have fewer IDs?
Because a lot of minorities don’t have much use for them. The most common voter ID is a driver’s license, and minorities are less likely to drive. A 2007 study found that in California, New Mexico, and Washington, whites were more likely to have driver’s licenses than nonwhites. In Orange County, Calif., about 92 percent of white voters had driver’s licenses, compared with only 84 percent of Latino voters and 81 percent of “other” voters. A 2005 study of Wisconsin similarly found that while about 80 percent of white residents had licenses, only about half of African-American and Hispanic residents had licenses.
Minorities are less likely to have driver’s licenses because they are more likely to be poor and to live in urban areas. If you can’t afford a car, or if you don’t need one because you take the bus or subway, you are less likely to have a driver’s license. Students are less likely to have driver’s licenses for the same reasons (plus the fact that they can sometimes rely on student IDs, and may just have not gotten around to getting a driver’s license yet).
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment