Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fixing the vote by race, age and class

No color-no ID required. Light blue-some ID required. Blue-photo ID required. Dark blue-proof of citizenship required. January 2007

When you can't win an election on your own merits, wouldn't it be great to pick own your electorate who you can trust will vote for you? That's why politicians like to draw district boundaries to ensure one-party dominance. A new study [pdf] from the University of Washington's Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race and Sexuality shows pretty conclusively that by demanding voters show photo IDs, Republicans ensure that more voters are white, older, and affluent. Others, likely Democrats, get pushed off the rolls.

Indiana's photo ID law is being challenged as discriminatory in court. Researchers set out to find what it really would do voter eligibility. They polled carefully randomized samples of voters and non-voters about their IDs. The results show clearly that the ID requirement is designed to build a Republican bias into the universe of voters and potential voters.

  • 21.8 percent of black Indiana voters do not have access to a valid photo ID (compared to 15.8 percent of white Indiana voters -- a 6 point gap).
  • When non-registered eligible voter responses are included -- the gap widens. 28.3 percent of eligible black voters in the State of Indiana to not have valid photo ID (compared to 16.8 percent of eligible voting age white Indiana residents - a gap of 11.5 percent).
  • The study found what it termed "a curvilinear pattern (similar to an upside down U-curve)" in the relationship between age and access to valid ID -- younger voters and older voters were both less likely to have valid ID compared to voters in the middle categories. 22 percent of voters 18-34 did not have ID, nor did 19.4 percent over the age of 70. (compared to 16.2 percent of Indiana voters age 35-54 without valid ID and 14.1 percent for 55-69 year olds).
  • 21 percent of Indiana registered voters with only a high school diploma did not have valid ID (compared to 11.5 percent of Indiana voters who have completed college -- a gap of 9.5 percent).
  • Those with valid ID are much more likely to be Republicans than those who do not have valid ID. Among registered voters with proper ID, 41.6 percent are registered Republicans, 32.5 percent are Democrats.

Brennan Center fror Justice

It's pretty clear who the authors of this law think should be allowed to elect their government officials.


sfwillie said...

Ok, I'm angry again.

Democracy asserts that a vote of all citizens is the best way to resolve important issues.

I think not many people really, truly, believe in democracy.

Thanks for this important information.

janinsanfran said...

Yeah -- mad is so right. And laughing at the goons is also right. We may get more lumps than they do, but often we have more life.

And thinking about elected officials choosing their voters: the Congressional and legislative districts that a Democrat governor and a Democratic legislature gave us here in CA after the 2000 census are prime examples. Some days I think that is great -- but mostly it leads to rot from within.

PeonInChief said...

Perhaps these laws can be attacked as poll taxes. IDs cost money, and to get one you often have to get a certified copy of your birth certificate, which also costs money.

For some elderly folk it becomes even more complicated, as some people born at home (not at all common now, but very common before WWII) don't have birth certificates and have to use affidavits to prove identity.