New Study Links Support for Voter ID Laws to Racial Resentment

votecountsDespite its conclusion, the study was not produced by Duh University and at least one surprising tidbit it uncovered shows it.

New research from the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication found that people with high “racial resentment” scores, along with those who consider themselves Republicans and conservatives, are most likely to be concerned about the largely imaginary issue of vote fraud.

Intense vote fraud investigations in Iowa have produced a confused elderly man who voted twice, a college student whose parents are divorcing who didn’t get the postcard, and a lady who lives at the address on her voter ID but gets mail elsewhere

To gauge their depth of racial resentment, non African-American survey respondents were asked how strongly they agreed with these statements:

  • I resent any special considerations that Africans Americans receive because it’s unfair to other Americans.
  • Special considerations for African Americans place me at an unfair disadvantage because I have done nothing to harm them.
  • African Americans bring up race only when they need to make an excuse for their failure.

Not all liberals and Democrats came up clean in the survey.

First, the research confirmed what people who don’t watch FOX News expected.

The survey reveals strong partisan and ideological divisions on racial resentment (see Figure 2). Republicans and conservatives have the highest “racial resentment” scores, and Democrats and liberals have the lowest; Independents and moderates are in the middle. In addition, Democrats and liberals are least supportive of voter ID laws, whereas Republicans and conservatives are most supportive. The link between “racial resentment” and support for such laws persists even after controlling for the effects of partisanship, ideology, and a range of demographic variables.

But then the survey administrators noticed something else.

…it is Democrats and liberals whose opinions on voter ID laws are most likely to depend on their racial attitudes. Republicans and conservatives overwhelmingly support voter ID laws regardless of how much “racial resentment” they express. In contrast, Democrats and liberals with the highest “racial resentment” express much more support for voter ID laws than those with the least resentment

I admit I was unfamiliar with the concept of racist liberals, which sounds like an oxymoron, but if they exist I guess it makes sense that they would be more apt to support vote suppression efforts aimed at likely Democratic voters.

States like Wisconsin and Florida continue to push the new laws even as other studies show that places like driver’s license offices, which provide the required ID cards, are located disproportionately away from populations of people of color.

And in Iowa, where a voter ID law is being sold, Secretary of State Matt Schultz stalled for time to prove that vote fraud is a problem in the state, even as his probe demonstrated otherwise.

“These things take time and you don’t want to accuse people of things they haven’t done,” he said. “It’s important to not just throw things out there. It’s important to do your due diligence and go through the investigation process.”

But despite opening a telephone hotline and web site for people to report suspected wrongdoing, the investigations so far have turned up nada. Cleared were a confused elderly man who voted twice in the recent primary; a college student whose parents were divorcing and whose address confirmation postcard was returned as undeliverable; and a lady who lives at the address on her voter ID but receives mail elsewhere.

The last case required sending an Iowa deputy sheriff to confirm her residency. Iowans must approve of this use of their state’s resources, or presumably they wouldn’t allow it. Then again, maybe Iowans score big on the racial resentment quiz — whether they are Republicans or Democrats.

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