Archives for posts with tag: vote

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

Florida State University Law Review

Michael C. Herron & Daniel A. Smith

Abstract

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.

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412k registered since the 2012 General Election.

These 412k early voters are casting their first ballots in a presidential election in Florida. Many, no doubt, are snowbirds, who voted up north in 2012 before retiring to our lovely beaches. Others, to be sure, are recently naturalized citizens, or have recently turned 18. Still others finally got around to registering to vote in Florida.

Crunching the numbers, I’m able to determine who these newbies are — their party affiliation, their race/ethnicity, and their gender.

Don’t have time to dive into the numbers, but here are some graphs of the 412k early voters in 2016 (as of yesterday, November 2) who’ve registered in Florida since the 2012 GE.

There are 2 percentage point more Democrats than Republicans, but NPAs are more than holding up their share of the overall electorate. Recently registered whites are dominating, but Hispanics are out-performing their share of the electorate. And women are out-performing men, but not nearly at the overall rate in terms of the gender gap of the nearly 5 million Floridians who’ve already cast ballots ahead of the November 8, 2016 General Election.

 

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Of the roughly 13.8m voters who are registered in Florida, 42% of them — some 5.8 million registered voters — either skipped the 2012 General Election (even though they were registered to vote), or registered to vote over the past four years.

How many of these infrequent Florida voters have turned out in 2016, either casting a vote-by-mail ballot or voting early in-person?

Crunching the numbers, as of this morning more than 1.1 million votes have been cast by voters who either opted to sit on the sidelines, or who were not yet registered to vote in the Sunshine State in 2012 when Barack Obama narrowly beat Mitt Romney.

That’s right, through Wednesday, November 2, with just six days to go before Election Day, over 1.1m have been cast by “new” voters — that is, voters who didn’t participate in the 2012 General Election.

Who are these suddenly energized folks? “Trumpkins”? “Lazy Ds”? Notoriously low-turnout No Party Affiliates?

Let’s go to the numbers…

Of the 1.1m who’ve cast ballots in 2016 but who sat out or weren’t eligible to vote in 2012, 37% are Democrats, 33% are Republicans, and 27% are NPAs.

By race/ethnicity, most of the 2012 GE-skippers are white (63%), but Hispanics make up 19%, with the share of black registrants over 9%.  Over 51% of these 2016 early voters who didn’t vote in 2012 are women, and 44% men, with the balance comprised of those with an unrecorded gender.

Of the 1.1m who’ve already voted in 2016, roughly 412k were registered in time to vote in the 2012 GE but opted to stay home.

Who are they?

Of these 412k newly energized voters who skipped 2012, 38% some might call “Lazy Ds”, 33% might very well be awakened “Trumpkins”, and 26% may be NPAs who in 2012 couldn’t be bothered by making a choice between Obama and Romney.  Of course, there are numerous other reasons for why these registered voters stayed home in 2012 but have chosen to vote in 2016 — perhaps some of them are #NeverTrump Republicans who can stand their party’s flag bearer, or perhaps some are Democrats who couldn’t stomach voting for Obama for a second term in 2012 and didn’t bother voting.

In my next post, I’ll look at the 723k voters who have cast ballots in 2016 who registered to vote in Florida after the 2012 General Election.

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