‘No definitive relationship’ between voter ID and turnout

Remember all those headlines last month touting a study that “proved” voter ID laws are racist and suppress minority voter turnout? They were wrong:

A new study by professors from Yale, Stanford, and the University of Pennsylvania challenges the notion that voter ID laws disproportionately affect minorities.

 

The new study finds “no definitive relationship” between tough laws requiring voters to present identification and a dropoff in Hispanic, black, and other minority turnout.

 

The study comes as a response to another one, published and widely reported in January, that asserted states with voter ID laws drive down turnout on Election Day, particularly among Hispanics. That earlier study, conducted by professors from the University of San Diego and Bucknell University, often is cited by liberal opponents of voter ID laws.

How did the earlier work of Hajnal, Lajevardi, and Nielson get it so wrong? From the new study by Grimmer et al:

Here, we show that the results of this paper are a product of large data inaccuracies, that the evidence does not support the stated conclusion, and that model specifications produce highly variable results. When errors in the analysis are corrected, one can recover positive, negative, or null estimates of the effect of voter ID laws on turnout. Our findings underscore that no definitive relationship between strict voter ID laws and turnout can be established from the validated CCES data.

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