After trying to pass a voter ID law across several legislative sessions, against strident Democrat opposition, Texas finally did pass one in 2011. The Democrats cried “voter suppression!” and the Obama administration through Eric Holder’s Justice Department has sued to stop it. The Democrats waged a media war against voter ID this year.
The law was not in effect during the 2011 Texas constitutional amendment election. It was in effect during the 2013 Texas constitutional amendment election, which was Tuesday night.
These two comparable elections give us a real-world test of whether voter ID really does suppress votes, as the Democrats claim. We should be able to tell whether voter ID suppressed the vote just by looking at the number of votes cast in the 2011 off-year election versus the number of votes cast in the 2013 off-year election.
The Texas Secretary of State’s office posts election results and returns going all the way back to 1992.
You can dial up the 2011 results here.
Here are the results for the 2013 election.
In the 2011 election an average of about 675,000 Texans voted statewide in the constitutional amendment election.
In the 2013 election, an average of about 1,100,000 Texans voted statewide in the constitutional amendment election.
The number of votes cast increased, dramatically, nearly doubling, after voter ID was enacted.
Going back to the 2009 constitutional amendment election, about 1,000,000 Texans voted. In 2007, about 1,000,000 voted in the constitutional amendment election. We have to go back to 2005 to find larger turnout than the 2013 election, which was long before voter ID was the law. That election turnout might have been so heavy because of Prop 2, the question of legalizing same-sex marriage, in which 76% of more than 2.2 million voters voted against.
The bottom line is that the first voter ID election saw turnout increase dramatically over the year before, and the year before that, and the year before that.
Here is an illustration of how Attorney General Eric Holder may react when he hears these numbers.