Voter I.D. Laws Thwart Democratic Process to Favor Republicans

Christopher Ingraham comments on the results of a new working paper that analyzes “turnout in recent elections — between 2008 and 2012 — in states that did and did not implement the strictest form of voter ID laws. [Researchers] found that these laws consistently and significantly decreased turnout not just among traditionally Democratic-leaning groups, like blacks and Hispanics, but among Republican voters too.”

“The findings are notable because they’re some of the first using data in elections that took place after some states implemented photo ID requirements to vote. Previous studies on the effects of these laws showed mixed results.”

“Their analysis suggests that turnout for Latino voters was suppressed by 10.8 points in states with strict photo ID laws, compared to states without them. For multiracial Americans, the drop was 12.8 points.”

“The net effect of all this? ‘Democratic turnout drops by an estimated 7.7 percentage points in general elections when strict photo identification laws are in place.’ Democrats weren’t the only ones affected, either. The data showed that Republican turnout was depressed by 4.6 percentage points too.”

“But the laws disproportionately affected Democratic voters. ‘The turnout advantage of those on the right is three to five times larger in strict photo identification states, all else equal. These results suggest that by instituting strict photo ID laws, states could minimize the influence of voters on the left and could dramatically alter the political leaning of the electorate.”

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