Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1392630
 
 

Citations (1)



 
 

Footnotes (294)



 


 



Poll Workers, Election Administration, and the Problem of Implicit Bias


Antony Page


Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Michael J. Pitts


Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

April 21, 2009

Michigan Journal of Race & Law, Vol.15, No. 1, Fall 2009

Abstract:     
Racial bias in election administration - more specifically, in the interaction between pollworkers and voters at a voting booth on election day - may be implicit, or unconscious. Indeed, the operation of a polling place may present an “optimal” setting for unconscious racial bias to occur. Pollworkers sometimes have legal discretion to decide whether or not a prospective voter gets to cast a ballot, and they operate in an environment where they may have to make quick decisions, based on little information, with few concrete incentives for accuracy, and with little opportunity to learn from their errors. Even where the letter of the law does not explicitly allow for a pollworker to exercise discretion, there is a strong possibility that unconscious bias could play a role in pollworker decision-making. Whether a poll workers’ discretion is de jure or de facto, the result may be race-based discrimination between prospective voters. This article addresses how unconscious bias may play a role in the interaction between pollworkers and prospective voters and discusses some ways in which the potential for unconscious bias to operate in America’s polling places may be mitigated.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 57

Keywords: elections, election administration, pollworkers, unconscious bias, implicit bias, racism

working papers series





Download This Paper

Date posted: May 1, 2009 ; Last revised: February 18, 2012

Suggested Citation

Page, Antony and Pitts, Michael J., Poll Workers, Election Administration, and the Problem of Implicit Bias (April 21, 2009). Michigan Journal of Race & Law, Vol.15, No. 1, Fall 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1392630 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1392630

Contact Information

Antony Page (Contact Author)
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law ( email )
530 West New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States
317.278.9037 (Phone)

Michael J. Pitts
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law ( email )
530 West New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States

Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,524
Downloads: 255
Download Rank: 70,892
Citations:  1
Footnotes:  294

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo1 in 0.329 seconds