The voter ID debate isn't going anywhere.
The issue is largely a state-by-state one. Generally, Republicans rise to control in certain states and pass legislation, and then liberal and minority groups and supporters sue to overturn. And with the GOP obtaining full control of even more states after the 2014 election -- they now have 24 -- more states could look at such laws in the near future.
So where do the American people stand? Well, on the surface, polls show they are overwhelmingly in favor of the concept of presenting identification before voting. But dig a little deeper, and you'll find a pretty deep divide on the basis for such laws.
A new poll from the Public Religion Research Institute asked people which they thought was a bigger problem: voter fraud or voter disenfranchisement. Forty percent of Americans said the former, while 43 percent said the latter -- about an even split.
And as you might expect, there's a pretty big partisan split. While 68 percent of Republicans say ineligible voters casting ballots is a bigger problem, 64 percent of Democrats say eligible voters being denied the ability to do so is the prevailing issue.
Perhaps the most interesting numbers: Among people who say Fox News Channel is their most trusted media outlet, 76 percent say voter fraud is the bigger issue, while just 12 percent cite disenfranchisement. Among CNN and public television viewers, the split is in favor of disenfranchisement by double digits.
Among whites, it's 49 to 33 in favor of voter fraud. Among nonwhites, it's 63 to 22 in favor of disenfranchisement. (Democrats allege that voter ID laws are tailored toward helping the GOP -- in particular by making it more difficult for minorities who might not have ID to vote.)
Adults younger than 30 favor voter disenfranchisement as the bigger problem by a margin of 63 to 28; seniors favor voter fraud, 49 to 25.
Of course, it's no news flash that Republicans and Democrats disagree about policy. What makes the voter ID battle so interesting is that they don't even agree on the underlying problem -- or alleged problem -- that is being addressed.
And even something that might not seem like an inherently partisan issue has become one.