Think those last-minute registrants who vote in the upcoming election will turn out in future elections? Think again.

My latest research, coauthored with UF PhD candidate, Enrijeta Shino.

Timing the Habit

Online version available here.


Now Available for (free) Download: “Race, Shelby County, and the Voter Information Verification Act in North Carolina”

Race, Shelby County, and the Voter Information Verification Act in North Carolina

Florida State University Law Review

Michael C. Herron & Daniel A. Smith


Shortly after the Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder struck down section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), the State of North Carolina enacted an omnibus piece of elec-tion-reform legislation known as the Voter Information Verification Act (VIVA). Prior to Shelby, portions of North Carolina were covered jurisdictions per the VRA’s sections 4 and 5—meaning that they had to seek federal preclearance for changes to their election proce-dures—and this motivates our assessment of whether VIVA’s many alterations to North Carolina’s election procedures are race-neutral. We show that in presidential elections in North Carolina black early voters have cast their ballots disproportionately in the first week of early voting, which was eliminated by VIVA; that blacks disproportionately have registered to vote during early voting and in the immediate run-up to Election Day, something VIVA now prohibits; that registered voters in the state who lack two VIVA-acceptable forms of voter identification, driver’s licenses and non-operator identification cards, are disproportionately black; that VIVA’s identification dispensation for voters at least seventy years old disproportionately benefits white registered voters; and, that preregistered sixteen and seventeen year old voters in North Carolina, a category of registrants that VIVA prohibits, are disproportionately black. These results illustrate how VIVA will have a disparate effect on black voters in North Carolina.

Download here:


Here’s the 2008 vs 2012 Share of Early In-Person Voters in Florida by Race/Ethnicity in Florida (from Herron & Smith, PRQ, 2014)

Michael C. Herron & Daniel A. Smith, “Race, Party, and the Consequences of Restricting Early Voting in Florida in the 2012 General Election,” Political Research Quarterly 67 (2014): 646-65.


In mid-2011, the Florida legislature reduced the state’s early voting period from fourteen days to eight and eliminated the final Sunday of early voting. We compare observed voting patterns in 2012 with those in the 2008 General Election and find that racial/ethnic minorities, registered Democrats, and those without party affiliation had significant early voting participation drops and that voters who cast ballots on the final Sunday in 2008 were disproportionately unlikely to cast a valid ballot in 2012. Florida’s decision to truncate early voting may have diminished participation rates of those already least likely to vote.



Way too early to compare early in-person voting in FL with 2012 EIP…but here’s 2008 numbers

There were only 8 days of EIP in 2012 in FL, after the Republican legislature cut the number of days with HB 1355 in 2013 from 14 days. The 2013, the legislature reversed course after the 2012 November election meltdown which had people waiting in line for over 6 hours to cast early votes, and expanded the number of days and hours SOEs could offer EIP.

Michael Herron and I have an article in Poltical Research Quarterly on the effects, which was cited in an article by Micahel Wines in The New York Times today.

Here’s the daily compositional breakdown of early in-person voting by race in 2008. That year, 10 counties offered the full 14 days of early voting; the rest offered a minimum of 8 days.


This year, 50/67 counties started EIP on the first available Monday.  I’ll have analysis of EIP in FL in the coming days.