Do voter ID laws disproportionately reduce racial minority turnout?

Probably not, but the evidence is still mixed.

A comprehensive, rigorous study of elections in the United States from 2008 to 2018 using individual-level data found that strict voter ID laws had no clear negative effect on turnout or registration for voters of any race. The authors found very weak statistical evidence that strict voter ID laws were actually more likely to increase non-White relative to White voter turnout, while leaving a narrow possibility that they slightly decreased non-White voter turnout.

Studies of particular states using individual-level data have suggested minor or negligible effects. South Carolina's 2011 voter ID law reduced Black voter turnout by an additional 0.06 percentage points relative to White voters, too small a difference to sway almost any election. Georgia's 2007 voter ID law had no discernible racial impact; the authors found that the law did more to reduce turnout among Whites lacking IDs than among non-Whites lacking IDs, but did not calculate the impact on overall turnout of different races.

A study of county-level turnout data from Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, and Wisconsin found that strict voter ID laws caused decreases in turnout between 2012 and 2016 that were substantially correlated with the proportion of residents who were racial minorities. This study shared some authors with a previous turnout study which was criticized for errors.

Many other studies have attempted to uncover the impact of voter ID laws, but their conclusions are similarly mixed, and they suffer from various limitations.

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