May 7 (Bloomberg) — Diane Sullivan says that when she pulls out her food-stamp card to buy groceries, she keeps the side with her photo cupped in her hand so people can't see.

While Massachusetts requires her to have the identification to prevent fraud, the 40-year-old mother of five from Medford calls it "a card of shame."

Maine and Georgia joined Massachusetts and New York last month in putting photos on welfare cards to stop misuse of taxpayer money, and similar proposals have been offered in a dozen other U.S. states. Opponents question whether it saves more than it costs. They also say it dissuades residents from getting benefits, much as critics of requiring identification to vote argue it keeps some from casting ballots.

"People sometimes make these snap judgments," said Sullivan, who works part-time as policy director at the nonprofit Homes for Families in Boston. "As soon as they see that I've got this photo card, they're like, 'Oh, there's a poor woman who's lazy. To see it gain steam in other states is extremely concerning to me."

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