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Signaling Minorities: A Novel Theoretical Proposition for Voter Identification Laws and Minority Suppression

Author:

Christopher Thomas Altmann

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, US
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Abstract

The effects of voter identification laws on minorities are understood. Generally, the passage of strict voter identification laws negatively impacts racial minority turnout in both primary and general elections. Nevertheless, a critical question remains: how are these laws suppressing minority turnout? The literature has failed to deliver a convincing argument. Thus, I develop a signaling game to model how a minority individual responds to the racialized type of a state legislature that has preferences for the enfranchisement of the minority. I then empirically test the game’s implications to determine minority confidence in their vote after the passage of voter identification laws. The model’s results show that as an increasing number of states pass these laws, minorities are more likely to be signaled they are unwanted at the ballot box. The empirical analysis provides evidence for the theory.
How to Cite: Altmann, C.T., 2021. Signaling Minorities: A Novel Theoretical Proposition for Voter Identification Laws and Minority Suppression. LSE Undergraduate Political Review, 4(2), pp.3–18.
Published on 31 Dec 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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