New Paper Casts Doubt on Hajnal et al Finding Strict Voter ID Laws Suppress Democratic Votes

Grimmer, Hersh, Meredith, Mummolo, and Nall have posted “Comment on ‘Voter Identification Laws and the Suppression of Minority Votes.’” Here is the abstract:

To study how voter identification laws affect participation in elections, Hajnal, Lajevardi and Nielson (2017) examines validated turnout data in five national surveys conducted between 2006 and 2014. The study concludes that strict ID laws cause a large turnout decline among minorities, especially Latinos. 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. Our analysis highlights more general problems with the way empirical evidence is assembled and reported, but it also offers useful suggestions on the appropriate evidence sources for research on election administration.

See my Feb. 10, 2016 post, Caution on the Hajnal Voter ID Paper.

Also, for people thinking about whether voter id laws are good or bad, I think this line of inquiry asks the wrong question. 


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