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Voter ID and Attitudes about Race

Apropos of my post yesterday, a poll by the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication looks at the relationship between support for voter ID laws and racial resentment.

The basic breakdown, both by self-identified ideology and self-identified party ID, is as follows:

One thing that immediately leaps out, and which is not a surprise, Republicans/conservatives favor the laws at much higher rates than do Democrats/liberals.  There is still,

We can also see that there is a clearly linkage between racial resentment and support for the law.  This can most readily be seen if we compare Democrats and liberals with low and high resentment levels.  There is a difference for Republicans and liberals, but since support is so high in those groups to begin with, it is less dramatic a difference.

If you look at the write-up on the study, you can see that the questions asked to determine resentment they are focused basically on general attitudes towards affirmative action or similar policies.

Of course, this doesn’t really tell us the exact interaction between these two topics.   That is, it doesn’t tell us if racial resentment leads to support of voter ID laws.  However, I think it does suggest more evidence that race is part of this equation.  Further, if one is already of the opinion (to used one of the questions) that “I resent any special considerations that Africans Americans receive because it’s unfair to other Americans” then it seems likely that one would find arguments about how difficult it may be for some African Americans to obtain IDs to be unpersuasive, and might, in fact, spark more resentment.

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Michael Robinson says:

    What immediately leaps out is that among liberals/Democrats with low racial resentment, half support voter ID laws.

    That’s your daily WTF!? right there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. LaMont says:

    @Michael Robinson:

    This doesn’t surprise me at all. i think most people understand and are for some from of voter ID laws. However, the real question is whether they believe it should come at the cost of disenfranchising some voters. Furthermore, is the cost even worth the problem it is intended to fix, which is not much of a problem to begin with. It’s a cost/benefit issue and if you look at it like that, it is a no brainer that this effort is purely political and solving voter fraud is not the intent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  3. al-Ameda says:

    No surprise here – Republicans almost uniformly favor voter-ID & vote suppression, while Liberals appear to be more conflicted about voter-ID & vote suppression.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  4. Dean says:

    @Michael Robinson:

    Good catch Michael. Also, one could infer from the pie charts that across the full sample there is widespread support for Voter ID laws.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. mantis says:

    Many of us are fine with voter ID as long as it is free and easy to get. And by that I mean actually easy, not Republican “easy,” where people with three jobs or disabled elderly folks have to take three buses 100 miles to get one. Preferably, a broad range of IDs would be accepted and most people would already have one and if not, could get one on election day or during early voting.

    So in theory, requiring ID to vote should not be a big problem, but in execution it is almost always about vote suppression. The laws are carefully written to insure that the majority of those who don’t have acceptable ID vote Democratic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  6. @Dean:

    Also, one could infer from the pie charts that across the full sample there is widespread support for Voter ID laws.

    Of this, there is no doubt.

    The question is not whether there is a lot of support (there is). The questions is: is it a good idea?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  7. Nikki says:

    @Dean: There is a lot of support for raising taxes on the rich.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  8. Just Me says:

    And by that I mean actually easy, not Republican “easy,” where people with three jobs or disabled elderly folks have to take three buses 100 miles to get one.

    I can’t imagine a situation where a person holds 3 jobs and doesn’t have a photo ID.

    I do think elderly people may have issues with a valid ID. You can’t apply for disability though and not have a photo ID. You can’t qualify for any kind of state aid unless you have a photo ID and a social security card.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  9. mantis says:

    I can’t imagine a situation where a person holds 3 jobs and doesn’t have a photo ID.

    A lot of people live lives you probably can’t imagine. And many of these laws are written in such a way that most forms of ID, even government issued ID, are not accepted. They are written this way for a reason, and it isn’t to protect the integrity of elections.

    I do think elderly people may have issues with a valid ID. You can’t apply for disability though and not have a photo ID. You can’t qualify for any kind of state aid unless you have a photo ID and a social security card.

    And many elderly folks signed up for things years ago and their government-issued ID has expired. Guess how many voter ID laws accept expired ID.

    Not to mention the fact that many of these laws exempt those voting absentee. Oh, and most ID laws exclude university ID, so college students who don’t drive are left with a difficult path to voting.

    In short, what you can and cannot imagine means absolutely nothing. Your imagination is obviously extremely limited. Not to worry though. The Republicans who write these bills have done the math and calculated that the majority of people in situations you cannot imagine vote Democratic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  10. LaMont says:

    @mantis:

    A lot of people live lives you probably can’t imagine.

    Great statement. This is what many that are blindly for voter identification laws just can not grasp! It exemplifies the bubble that they themselve do not realize they live in.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  11. Michael Robinson says:

    @mantis:

    Many of us are fine with voter ID as long as it is free and easy to get.

    And just what problem is it, exactly, that voter ID is supposed to solve, that makes “many of us fine with it”?

    Vote fraud? That’s non-existent.

    The only problem that voter ID solves is too many legitimate “D” voters showing up at the polls. How can Democrats/liberals be “fine with” any solution to that problem?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. mantis says:

    And just what problem is it, exactly, that voter ID is supposed to solve, that makes “many of us fine with it”?

    There has to be some procedure by which people claim their ballot and vote. Voter ID is one such method, and not a bad one, provided that the law insures that eligible voters are not disenfranchised. I don’t see voter ID as solving a voter fraud problem that does not presently exist.

    The only problem that voter ID solves is too many legitimate “D” voters showing up at the polls.

    It doesn’t have to be that way. And I am obviously arguing that law that does that is unacceptable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. Michael Robinson says:

    @mantis:

    There has to be some procedure by which people claim their ballot and vote.

    There is a procedure. You register to vote. You show up at the polling place. You give them your name. They cross it off the list.

    It works.

    No problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. mantis says:

    No problem.

    I don’t have a problem with it, but some people do. I’m also partial to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” strategy, but we aren’t in a dictatorship with me as the dictator, so sometimes we have to work with people with whom we disagree. If those who legitimately think there is a possible threat to election integrity that can be solved by voter ID, I say the solution is fine as long as it doesn’t disenfranchise anyone. It’s a high bar.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    There was a lot of support to make Election Day a Tuesday in November, 170 years ago. But gov’t should move glacially, lest rapid change upset dead Christian agrarian patricians whose names are forgotten.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. @Lit3Bolt: There’s another topic for discussion: Tuesday voting!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  17. G.A. says:

    The question is not whether there is a lot of support (there is). The questions is: is it a good idea?

    Mabey you need to get your vote stole like I did to find out.

    Just sayin’

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. mantis says:

    Mabey you need to get your vote stole like I did to find out.

    And we all believe you. No really, we do. Okay, we don’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. Trumwill says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Seems to me that the above charts are very much about who supports it rather than the correctness of the policy. That doesn’t give confirming evidence either way. I was actually about to make a comment about how racists may oppose affirmative action but that doesn’t make affirmative action right, but then I looked at how they define racial resentment, and two of the three questions involve one’s feelings towards affirmative action. This is not remarkably telling.

    (For context: I am softly opposed to both affirmative action and voter ID laws.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. @Trumwill: Point of clarification: I was referring to the general discussion about voter ID in that comment, not to the poll. Clearly the poll is about support. Poor choices of words on my part to speak of “the question.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. G.A. says:

    And we all believe you. No really, we do. Okay, we don’t.

    You don’t believe anything not told to you by some other liberal.

    yet I sit here with my vote stole and a Marxist racist liberal judge and many other Marxist liberal racist agents of the government denying my justice and common sense step to a solution.

    Whats new…

    We pass a law and a Marxist racist liberal Judge decides it is not getting past his brain washing..

    Marxist racist liberal lawyers suck and so do their wannabes! The really suck when the sign recall petitions..and then do their evil…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0