William D. Hicks, Seth C. McKee, and Daniel A. Smith, “The Determinants of State Legislator Support for Restrictive Voter ID Laws,” State Politics and Policy Quarterly 16:4 (December): 411-31.
We examine state legislator behavior on restrictive voter identification (ID) bills from 2005 to 2013. Partisan polarization of state lawmakers on voter ID laws is well known, but we know very little with respect to other determinants driving this political division. A major shortcoming of extant research evaluating the passage of voter ID bills stems from using the state legislature as the unit of analysis. We depart from existing scholarship by using the state legislator as our unit of analysis, and we cover the entirety of the period when restrictive voter ID laws became a frequent agenda item in state legislatures. Beyond the obviously significant effect of party affiliation, we find a notable relationship between the racial composition of a member’s district, region, and electoral competition and the likelihood that a state lawmaker supports a voter ID bill. Democratic lawmakers representing substantial black district populations are more opposed to restrictive voter ID laws, whereas Republican legislators with substantial black district populations are more supportive. We also find Southern lawmakers (particularly Democrats) are more opposed to restrictive voter ID legislation. In particular, we find black legislators in the South are the least supportive of restrictive voter ID bills, which is likely tied to the historical context associated with state laws restricting electoral participation. Finally, in those state legislatures where electoral competition is not intense, polarization over voter ID laws is less stark, which likely reflects the expectation that the reform will have little bearing on the outcome of state legislative contests.
Full article available here:
Here’s the racial/ethnic breakdown by gender of the 2.26m Republicans who have voted Early-In-Person or have had their Vote-by-Mail ballots processed by the the state’s 67 Supervisors of Elections through yesterday, November 5, 21016.
[corrected composition %s]
Through yesterday, October 19, Republicans had returned 12,832 more vote-by-mail ballots than Democrats.
However, as of this time four years ago–that is, 20 days prior to the November 6, 2012 General Election–Republicans led Democrats by more than 28,400 absentee ballot returns. Democrats have closed the absentee ballot gap in Florida.
In 2012, at this moment, Republicans accounted for nearly 45% of all absentee ballots cast; as of yesterday, in the 2016 election, that percentage was less than 42%.
But the reason that Democrats are closing the gap is due in large part to the share of vote-by-mail ballots being cast by No Party Affiliates in 2016: as of yesterday, 68,000 more NPAs have had their vote-by-mail ballots received by local SOEs as compared to October 17, 2012.
Of course, what we might be witnessing is a shift in the mode by which voters cast their ballots, something that I’ve written extensively about with Dr. Michael Herron.
Again, the math doesn’t add up. CNN’s exit poll of Florida voters reports that 16% self-reported Republicans who voted in the Florida PPP as being “latino” [sic].
We know that prior to Election Day, of the more than 1.2m registered Republicans who had already voted, more than 86% self-identified as “white” when they registered to vote. Only 10.3% marked on their voter registration cards that they were “Hispanic.”
It’s stretches the imagination, then, that one in five of the 1.16m Republicans who voted on Election Day (some 254k) were Hispanic voters. Sure, some 192k Republican Hispanics didn’t vote early in Miami-Dade, but chances are, a few of them also stayed home on Election Day. Indeed, there were less than 400k Republican Hispanics statewide who had yet to vote on Election Day. Nearly every one of them would have had to have voted on Election Day in order for the CNN exit poll figure for Hispanic turnout to map out.
With such dubious baseline figures, I’d throw caution to the wind for anyone digging any deeper into the CNN exit poll crosstabs in Florida. One wonders how far off the exit polls are in the other states that have had primaries?
Here are the total ballots cast by Republican Hispanics and the percentages of registered Republican Hispanic voters who cast ballots, as of the start of Election Day voting this morning. I’ve sorted by the top 10 counties in terms of percentages. Not surprisingly, Miami-Dade (DAD), has the highest overall vote total and percentage of Republican Hispanic turnout, perhaps an indication of Marco Rubio’s pull in his home county. We’ll see later tonight what the tally is for late arriving absentee ballots as well as Election Day voting.
||Hispanic Republican votes cast
||Tot Registered Hispanic Republicans
||% Republican Hispanic Turnout