Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1625041
 
 

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Can Voter ID Laws Be Administered in a Race-Neutral Manner? Evidence from the City of Boston in 2008


Rachael V. Cobb


Suffolk University - Department of Government

D. James Greiner


Harvard University - Program for Legal Profession; Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

Kevin M. Quinn


UC Berkeley School of Law

June 14, 2010

Quarterly Journal of Political Science, Vol. 7, No 1, pp 1-33

Abstract:     
Is it feasible in the current United States to administer voter identification laws in a race-neutral manner? In this paper, we studied a jurisdiction and an election in which such laws would be unlikely to pose issues of racial difference. We also used state-of-the-art field methods and statistical techniques to account for sources of uncertainty that previous studies had suppressed, including survey non-response. Our results are discouraging. We find strong evidence that Hispanic voters, and reasonably strong evidence that black voters, were asked for identification at higher rates than white voters. The magnitudes of the differences are troubling. We suggest that it may not be feasible to administer voter ID laws in a race-neutral manner in the current United States, and we explore the theoretical and legal consequences of such a conclusion.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 34

Keywords: Voter ID, exit poll, multiple imputation, Bayesian hierarchical modeling, voting rights law

JEL Classification: Z10

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Date posted: June 14, 2010 ; Last revised: November 6, 2013

Suggested Citation

Cobb, Rachael V. and Greiner, D. James and Quinn, Kevin M., Can Voter ID Laws Be Administered in a Race-Neutral Manner? Evidence from the City of Boston in 2008 (June 14, 2010). Quarterly Journal of Political Science, Vol. 7, No 1, pp 1-33. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1625041

Contact Information

Rachael V. Cobb
Suffolk University - Department of Government ( email )
Boston, MA 02108
United States
Daniel Greiner (Contact Author)
Harvard University - Program for Legal Profession ( email )
23 Everett Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
(617) 496-4643 (Phone)

Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics ( email )
124 Mount Auburn Street
Suite 520N
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Kevin M. Quinn
UC Berkeley School of Law ( email )
215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States
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