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Voter ID: Not racist after all

March 20. 2017 9:43PM

The argument that voter ID laws are an attempt by Republicans to depress minority turnout is an article of faith among Democrats.

They were buoyed by a January study that purported to show lower minority participation in states with voter ID laws. Specifically, researchers found that states with strict voter ID laws had much lower turnout of Hispanic voters, and somewhat lower turnout for other minority groups, while white turnout was unaffected.

Surely, only the most irresponsible of right-wing fake news outlets would dispute such staggering evidence.

Enter Vox.

The liberal website that tries to explain the news reported last week on a follow-up study that blows several large holes in the first one.

Stanford researchers found that the original study relied on unreliable data, and made several miscalculations. It also failed to note that minority voter turnout rates were lower in those state before the voter ID laws were passed.

Vox staff writer German Lopez says this backs up the bulk of available research showing that voter ID laws have little impact on elections.

Lopez can’t help himself, arguing that Republicans had racist intent in passing voter ID, even if there was no disparate racial impact.

Republicans worry that nonvoters are voting in cities where Democrats keep ineligible voters on the rolls. Requiring voters to provide identification is neither onerous nor unconstitutional.

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