Politics : WaPo: Yes, voter ID laws suppress minority voters.

WaPo: Yes, voter ID laws suppress minority voters.

And having Jeff Sessions as the AG is basically putting the fox in the henhouse.


The Justice Department just got a new boss: Jeff Sessions. He is raising alarms in the civil rights community. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is concerned about his record of hostility toward the Voting Rights Act and the enforcement of civil rights. The NAACP-Legal Defense Fund lamented that it is unimaginable that he could be entrusted to serve as the chief law enforcement officer for this nations civil rights laws. No one knows for sure how Sessions will perform as attorney general the former Republican senator from Alabama did, after all, once vote to renew the Voting Rights Act, in 2006 but for many his record is deeply troubling.

Voter identification laws have spread rapidly in the past 10 years

What we do know is that voter identification laws are spreading rapidly around the country. Before 2006, no state required photo identification to vote on Election Day. Today 10 states have this requirement. All told, a total of 33 states representing more than half the nations population have some version of voter identification rules on the books.

As we detail below, our research shows that these laws lower minority turnout and benefit the Republican Party.

There is, of course, widespread debate about the merits of these new laws. Proponents claim that ID laws are necessary to reduce fraud and to restore trust in the democratic system. Critics claim that voter ID laws serve as effective barriers that limit the legitimate participation of racial and ethnic minorities and other disadvantaged groups.

Who is right? Scholars have been able to show that racial and ethnic minorities have less access to photo IDs, and extensive analysis reveals almost no evidence of voter fraud of the type ostensibly prevented by these laws. But determining just how many Americans are prevented from actually voting is another question altogether. The key question is not whether there could be worrisome effects from these laws, but whether clear-cut shifts in electoral participation and outcomes have actually occurred. Do voter identification laws skew the electorate in favor of one set of interests over others?

Because these laws are so new, it has been almost impossible to assess their consequences. Most of the existing studies have looked at the effects of not-so-strict ID laws or have assessed the consequences of strict ID laws in only one state or one election. The results have been mixed.

Heres how we did our research

In our new study we are able to offer a more definitive assessment for several reasons.

First and most important, we have data from the nations most recent elections (2006-2014) and can single out and test the effect of the strict voter ID laws in multiple elections and multiple states. (We define states with strict voter ID laws as states where residents cannot vote without presenting valid identification during or after the voting process.)

Second, we have validated voting data so we know whether each of our respondents actually voted. Third, we have a huge sample over a third of a million Americans from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study which means that we can analyze the participation of racial and ethnic minorities in all states both before and after strict ID laws are implemented.

When we compare overall turnout in states with strict ID laws to turnout in states without these laws, we find no significant difference. That pattern matches with most existing studies. But when we dig deeper and look specifically at racial and ethnic minority turnout, we see a significant drop in minority participation when and where these laws are implemented.

Hispanics are affected the most: Turnout is 7.1 percentage points lower in general elections and 5.3 points lower in primaries in strict ID states than it is in other states. Strict ID laws mean lower African American, Asian American and multiracial American turnout as well. White turnout is largely unaffected.

These laws have a disproportionate effect on minorities, which is exactly what you would expect given that members of racial and ethnic minorities are less apt to have valid photo ID.

In the graph below, we display the turnout gap between whites and Latinos, Asian Americans and African Americans in states with and without strict voter ID laws. In general elections in non-strict states, for instance, the gap between white and Latino turnout is on average 4.9 points.

But in states with strict ID laws, that gap grows to a substantial 13.2 points. The gap between white turnout and Asian American and African American turnout also increases.

The right side of the figure shows that the same thing happens in primary elections and more dramatically. For example, the white-black turnout gap grows from 2.5 to 11.6 when a state adds strict ID laws. The racial imbalance in U.S. voting expands.

These findings persist even when we take many other factors into account including partisanship, demographic characteristics, election contexts and other state laws that encourage or discourage participation. Racial gaps persist even when we limit our analysis to Democrats or track shifts in turnout in the first election after strict rules are implemented. Definitively determining that the laws themselves are what lowers turnout is always difficult without an experiment, but however we look at it, strict voter ID laws suppress minority votes.

When a state has strict voter ID laws, those who do vote are more conservative

All of this, of course, has real political consequences. Because minority voters tend to be Democrats, strict voter ID laws tilt the primary electorate dramatically.

All else equal, when strict ID laws are instituted, the turnout gap between Republicans and Democrats in primary contests more than doubles from 4.3 points to 9.8 points. Likewise, the turnout gap between conservative and liberal voters more than doubles from 7.7 to 20.4 points.

By instituting strict voter ID laws, states can alter the electorate and shift outcomes toward those on the right. Where these laws are enacted, the influence of Democrats and liberals wanes and the power of Republicans grows. Unsurprisingly, these strict ID laws are passed almost exclusively by Republican legislatures.

What will Attorney General Jeff Sessions do?

Sessions has opposed core elements of the Voting Rights Act and other measures aimed at protect minority voting rights. Perhaps strong evidence that voter identification reduces minority voting will change his mind in this case.

We will know soon; the Justice Departments case against Texass strict voter ID law will resume after a month-long delay requested by the new Trump-led department. Sessions will have to decide whether to continue the case.



Whatever you are, be a good one.

Re: WaPo: Yes, voter ID laws suppress minority voters.

tl;dr version:

Democrats are so stupid, they can't get ID's. Republicans, despite being backwards hicks, seem to have no problem.

Guess those Republicans aren't so dumb after all.

I am the heretic of the IMDb Mod Gods. Screw them!

Re: WaPo: Yes, voter ID laws suppress minority voters.

The article is also a lie. I had to show a photo ID (driver's license) in Va. back in the late 1980s. I'm sure many other states did as well.

It is blue state areas (read: Democrat) that are the ones who have dragged their feet for years about requiring a photo ID. Not surprising since it is urban areas where illegals and other unqualified persons congregate and Dems like to have unqualified vote in US elections.

State gov'ts, whenever in the hands of conservatives, having been cracking down on lax ID efforts of urban areas. Red state areas have been doing it for a long time.

Re: WaPo: Yes, voter ID laws suppress minority voters.


Who the fck cares!

Re: WaPo: Yes, voter ID laws suppress minority voters.

Only the biggest, most disingenuous moronic hacks oppose voter ID on principle. There are literally zero reasonable arguments against it.

Re: WaPo: Yes, voter ID laws suppress minority voters.

If blacks can't vote because they don't have ID, then they also can't buy guns, alcohol, have jobs, rent apartments, buy houses, drive cars, go to school, collect welfare, sign up for mandatory health insurance, ride on trains, airplanes, enter government buildings, etc Voting is the least of their problems and would be impossible anyway.

Re: WaPo: Yes, voter ID laws suppress minority voters.

Don't think there was ever any doubt that such laws would impact minority (or at least lower-income) voters to a greater extent.

At the same time have no problem with voter ID laws that require you do what you have to do like in order to cash a check so long as there is some kinda of reasonable alternative in case that is a problem.

What don't like is the falsehood of all those millions of illegal vote casting folks being thrown out as a justification for it.

Re: WaPo: Yes, voter ID laws suppress minority voters.

Its like 20-40 dollars every 4 years for an IDMaybe even free if its purely ID and not a drivers licence.

If you cant even accomplish this simplest of tasks in a 4 year span then you probably shouldn't be voting at all.

Re: WaPo: Yes, voter ID laws suppress minority voters. (PART TWO)

The Trump administration uses what precious time it has left to launch a new voter intimidation scheme.


White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller argued Sunday that President Trump was the victim of voter fraud in the election. Voter fraud, Miller insisted, is a serious problem in this country. This statement is untrue. He also said that the White House has provided enormous evidence of this fraud. This is also untrue.

The president himself has repeatedly made unsubstantiated claims, from last weeks allegation that then-Sen. Kelly Ayotte lost her race in New Hampshire because thousands of voters were bused in from Massachusetts to his fact-free insistence that he lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes because of 3 million to 5 million votes cast by illegals. And when he called for a major investigation, he was hardly opaque about his aims, with his press secretary, Sean Spicer, saying that the probe would be focused on urban areas, the same areas Trump told his supporters to watch on Election Day.

Lets dispense with the easy part. This issue has been studied, and every credible academic review has concluded that widespread voter fraud does not happen in this country. There are isolated incidents, such as the Iowa woman accused of voting twice for Trump. But there is no evidence that millions, thousands or even hundreds of instances of in-person voter fraud occur in the United States. One of the most reliable studies found only 31 instances of fraud in more than 1 billion votes cast over nearly 15 years. A person is more likely to be struck by lightning than commit voter fraud.

Although voter fraud has long been on the list of myths perpetuated by state-level Republican leaders to justify onerous voter ID laws, even Republican members of Congress have refused to endorse the presidents views about widespread voter fraud. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said that no federal dollars should be used to support the presidents search for voter fraud. Ayotte rejected Trumps account of her defeat.

Thus, the president and his teams peculiar repetition of claims about voter fraud must be recognized for what it is: They are laying the groundwork for forthcoming efforts. We should prepare for the president to issue a sweeping executive order requiring a nationwide investigation of alleged voter fraud. The justification for it will be as unmoored from facts, as was the basis for the seven Muslim-majority countries selected for the presidents travel ban. And the results will be just as, if not more, pernicious.

A presidential command to investigate the existence of a phenomenon that has been demonstrated not to exist can accomplish only one thing a nationwide system of voter intimidation authorized at the highest levels of government. The president and his team have already made clear that they will not let facts get in the way of their firm conviction that voter fraud exists. Whatever body is charged with the investigation will be certain to concoct evidence of voter fraud; the administration would not take the risk of launching an investigation unless it could be certain that it would corroborate the presidents fantasy. Along the way, any commission will be charged with aggressively probing the actions of state and local voting officials and voters in its zeal to find what study after study has been unable to find.

All of this is especially alarming now that Jeff Sessions is leading the Justice Department. When Sessions was U.S. attorney in Alabama, he used the power of his office to investigate and unsuccessfully prosecute civil rights leaders for unsubstantiated voter fraud. In the black community, this generated fear about exercising the franchise that lasted decades. The results of such an investigation on a national scale could be even more devastating.

Of course, there is a serious illegal voting problem in our country: voter suppression. But even that does not require an investigation. Federal courts have ruled that voter ID laws in North Carolina and Texas, respectively, illegally suppress the votes of African Americans and Latinos. In North Carolina, the U.S Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit found that state had intentionally designed its law to discriminate against minority voters.

The comparison of voter suppression to voter fraud is stark. Although Texas has found only a handful of cases of in-person voter fraud since 2000, it is estimated that 600,000 eligible voters were disenfranchised by the 2013 adoption of Texass strict voter ID law. Rather than address this travesty, the president has chosen to reinforce the myth that minorities urban voters and illegals are a threat to the integrity of our election system. Trumps insistence on investigating a nonexistent threat while ignoring the reality of systematic disenfranchisement of minority voters speaks powerfully about the intentions and focus of this administration.

We take the president at his word when he threatens to launch a major investigation into voter fraud. We will challenge any illegality in the presentation or execution of the program. But we had all best recognize the implications of the president of the United States launching a nationwide voter intimidation program.



Whatever you are, be a good one.

Re: WaPo: Yes, voter ID laws suppress minority voters. (PART TWO)

Whatever "voter intimidation" could possibly mean, there's nothing in that article about it.

Re: WaPo: Yes, voter ID laws suppress minority voters.

Amazing how the left thinks minorities are too stupid to find the DMV.

Re: WaPo: Yes, voter ID laws suppress minority voters.

Yeah and locks suppress burglars. They simly cannot do their job properly that way.