When defenders of voter ID laws stand up and say that the regulations protect their citizens and our democracy, there’s more than one lie being told. First, rather than protect our democracy, voter ID laws actually disproportionally affect the rights of elderly, working, student, and minority voters. Second, the laws, which are aimed at curbing the yet-to-be-seen problem of “voter fraud” will actually cost tax payers millions and millions of dollars to implement. Taking a look at the numbers shows a side of voter ID laws that their supporters fail to mention. In Virginia, for example, The Commonwealth Institute found that the current voter ID bill being debated by the state legislature could cost taxpayers between $7.91 million and $22.59 million. These costs come from providing free IDs, educating voters, training poll-workers, and administration. In Kansas, the effects of these new laws on citizens can be seen more directly. In order for some voters to get the required IDs, they may need to obtain copies of their birth certificates, marriage licenses, or other documents, all of which cost roughly $15 or more depending on if they have to obtain the documents in another state. Some organizations have even equated these fees to a poll tax, one that could affect some groups more than others. A coalition made up of groups like The League of Women Voters and the American Civil Liberties Union are considering a lawsuit against the state based on this cost. The costs have not gone unnoticed in other states that have passed voter ID laws. In Nebraska, estimates have ranged between 15 to 55 cents per voter, and when multiplied by hundreds even thousands of voters per election, the cost exponentially increases. A review of the legislation in Minnesota by Common Cause and Citizens for Election Integrity concluded that between $25 and $84 million dollars would need to be spent on implementation, while the state is tackling a $5 billion deficit. The Wisconsin State Journal found that the Wisconsin regulations would add a $6 million in costs to the state DMV in its first year, and $4 million every year moving forward. It is no secret that many of these states are struggling to revive themselves from the economic downturn of the past few years. These costs an unnecessary strain on state budgets, especially these laws are intended to solve a problem that does not exist – in-person voter fraud. Many lawmakers sponsoring the bills have conceded that people voting under false identities in any of these states does not exist. Our democracy is stronger when ALL Americans participate. Instead of wasting taxpayer money on legislation that makes it harder for voters to cast a ballot, lawmakers should focus on ways to make voting more convenient. Online voter registration, same day registration and early voting have shown to increase voter turnout and make it easier for students, minorities, and low-income voters to cast a ballot.