Voter ID: Poll Tax or Common Sense?

Unlike in Kansas, where the newly-passed voter ID law takes effect for this November's election, Texas voters cannot use a student ID from a Texas state school. Concealed handgun permits, on the other hand, are accepted under Texas' law.

Kansas' law has not been challenged by the Justice Department because, unlike Texas, it does not have to be pre-cleared under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Similar photo ID laws in South Carolina and Wisconsin, which do have to get pre-clearance, were struck down earlier this year.

As things stand now, voters in five states ? Kansas, Indiana, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Tennessee- will have to show IDs at the polls this November.

Because Pennsylvania is the only voter ID state that is shaping up to be competitive in the 2012 presidential race, Persily said it's not likely that voter ID laws will have much of an effect on the election outcome.

"I tend to think the effect of voter id will be lost in the shuffle of all the other factors that will affect who will be the next president," he said.

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