Racial Animus Is Decreasing Support for the Voting Rights of Citizens with Felony Convictions

31 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2018

See all articles by Victoria Shineman

Victoria Shineman

University of Pittsburgh; New York University

Date Written: October 25, 2018


Felon disenfranchisement laws disproportionately affect poor and minority populations. Using data from an original module in the 2013 Congressional Cooperative Election Study, this study demonstrates that negative racial attitudes are decreasing support for the voting rights of citizens with felony convictions. The results find that Non-Hispanic Whites with greater racial animus are less supportive of allowing citizens with felony convictions to vote, despite the ostensibly race-neutral nature of the policy. The effects of racial attitudes on public opinion are strongest when the citizen was convicted of stereotypical Black crimes, compared to stereotypical White crimes. Racial animus also make individuals less likely to be persuaded by arguments in favor of voting rights, and more susceptible to arguments against voting rights – particularly when the arguments are more directly linked to race. The magnitude of the impact of racial attitudes on support for voting rights is notable inasmuch as it is often the most important antecedent variable in the model.

Suggested Citation

Shineman, Victoria, Racial Animus Is Decreasing Support for the Voting Rights of Citizens with Felony Convictions (October 25, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3272685 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3272685

Victoria Shineman (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh ( email )

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New York University ( email )

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