Monday Numbers: A closer look at the cost of voter ID

Monday Numbers: A closer look at the cost of voter ID

Lawmakers didn’t waste any time creating a voter ID bill after North Carolinians passed a constitutional amendment in the midterm elections.

The Senate has already passed Senate Bill 824, a measure that will require North Carolina voters present a valid photo identification before casting an in-person ballot. The House Elections and Ethics Law committee will take the bill up today, but there has yet to be a fiscal note estimating what implementing the measure will cost the state.

Here are a few numbers that might help put in perspective what voter ID could cost long term:

218,000 — the number of individuals in North Carolina estimated to not have a photo ID;

$3 million — about the cost of what the State Board of Elections spent on voter outreach staff, printed materials for polling places and training, a paid media campaign, and related expenses when the past voter ID measure was passed;

$4.17 to $6.54 — the estimated cost of staffing, printing and otherwise delivering the creation of one free identification card;

$11 million — the cost of the last voter ID law to North Carolina (which was struck down as unconstitutional) after litigation fees;

$9 million — a conservative estimate of the cost to implement a new photo identification requirement including hiring more workers at election sites and Division of Motor Vehicles stations, conducting voter education and outreach, printing materials, and processing provisional voting ballots in 100 counties;

$3 million — additional estimated costs to taxpayers including litigation expenses associated with potential challenges;

$498 — the estimated cost to the Administrative Office of the Courts per disposition of each person charged with a Class I felony for creating fake IDs to vote, a provision in SB 824;

$3,710 — the cost to the North Carolina Department of Public safety per active sentence stemming from that newly created charge;

$1,458 — the cost to DPS Community Corrections per supervised probation sentence stemming from that newly created charge;

$1.3 million — the cost reported in 2014 that Indiana paid to print photo ID cards;

$10 million — the cost reported in 2014 that Indiana paid for full administration of a voter ID law;

$2-$6 — estimated cost of implementing photo ID policies per registered voter in Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas;

7,115,555 — the number of registered voters in North Carolina as of Dec. 1; and

$0 — the amount of money lawmakers have thus far appropriated to implement a photo ID law.

Sources: The North Carolina Budget and Tax Center, the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, the North Carolina Legislature