March 14, 2013- At polling places across America in November 2012, Latinos and African Americans under age 30 were disproportionately asked for identification, even in states that do not have voter ID laws, according to a post-election analysis by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Chicago.
“Our study shows that voter ID laws have disproportionately severe consequences for youth of color,” says co-author Jon C. Rogowski, PhD, assistant professor of political science in Arts & Sciences at Washington University.
“Whether the biases are conscious or unconscious, the result of these laws is that people of color are effectively being disenfranchised. Our nation has an obligation to ensure that everyone has equal access to the voting booth.”
The study, released this week by the Black Youth Project, is co-authored by Cathy Cohen, PhD, the David and Mary Winton Green Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago.
The study, Black and Latino Youth Disproportionately Affected by Voter Identification Laws in the 2012 Election, offers a summary of minority voter experiences in each state that has some form of voter identification law.
Overall, 17.3 percent of black youth and 8.1 percent of Latino youth reported that the lack of required identification prevented them from voting, compared to just 4.7 percent of white youth.