“Courts are finally pointing out the racism behind voter ID laws,” screams a Washington Post headline. “Are you racist? Let’s look at your position on voter ID,” asks The Hill.
“The results on voter ID laws are in — and its bad news for ethnic and racial minorities,” ran a September 2016 op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, authored by University of California San Diego Professor Zoltan L. Hajnal.
Hanjal’s study was repeated over and over again in the media. “New study confirms that voter ID laws are very racist,” ran a Think Progress headline. “Study: Those Allegedly Racist Voter ID Laws Are Actually Pretty Racist,” proclaimed GQ.
What total and complete nonsense.
In new research studying the accuracy of Hanjal’s claim, researchers from Stanford, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania find that the claims are simply not true.
“The study concludes that strict ID laws cause a large turnout decline among minorities, especially Latinos. Here, we show that the results of this paper are a product of large data inaccuracies, that the evidence does not support the stated conclusion, and that model specifications produce highly variable results,” the authors wrote.
“When errors in the analysis are corrected, one can recover positive, negative, or null estimates of the effect of voter ID laws on turnout. Our findings underscore that no definitive relationship between strict voter ID laws and turnout can be established from the validated CCES data,” they said.
“Strict voter ID laws may reduce turnout, particularly among minorities, but the evidence presented [by the original authors] does not constitute reliable information documenting such a relationship,” the authors of the new study concluded.
Logan Churchwell told LifeZette he’s not surprised at the results of the new study: “If ever you wanted a good example for the term ‘alternate facts,’ look no further.”
“For years, activists and academics have been searching for the silver bullet to prove voter ID is harmful to minorities, despite broad support for the laws across every demographic,” he went on. “Many federal courts have been asked to do the same: find a causal link between voter ID and intentional decreases in minority turnout. All eventually failed.”
“Despite this, too many in the media are willing to report an initial study as gospel before peer reviewers can weigh in,” Churchwell continued.
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