Abstract Title

The Disproportionate Impact of Voting Regulations on Underrepresented Communities

Abstract

Through examining polling data and survey results, one can observe a notable disparity between those who are active voters and those who identify as nonvoters. Often, this disparity can be characterized by differences in race, age and income group. Over the years there has been a consistent trend that shows that people who are non-white, under age 30, or have a family income of less than around thirty-thousand dollars are much less likely to vote than those who are white, older or make more money. The reasons for this vary. However, as I illustrate in this paper, the conditions that lead particular groups of people not to vote are exacerbated by policies that disproportionately affect them, putting them at a disadvantage when it comes to the exercise of voting rights. These policies include restrictions on early voting, the mechanism for counting provisional votes, as well as voter ID laws. Together, this creates a problem of de facto disenfranchisement amongst would-be voters, which in turn leads to lower voter turnout, lower efficacy and inaccurate representation in government. Using the state of Ohio as an example, as well as statistics from several sources, I describe how these policies have a negative impact on the ability of underrepresented communities to vote. I also devise solutions that will address and alleviate the issue, fostering greater political efficacy.

Modified Abstract

Through examining survey results, one can observe a notable disparity between those who are active voters and those are nonvoters. Often, this disparity can be characterized by differences in race, age and income group. It appears that the conditions that lead particular groups of people not to vote are exacerbated by policies that disproportionately affect them, such as restrictions on early voting. This creates a problem of de facto disenfranchisement amongst would-be voters, which in turn leads to lower voter turnout, lower efficacy and inaccurate representation. Using the state of Ohio as an example, as well as statistics from several sources, I describe the negative impact of these policies and devise solutions that will address and alleviate the issue, fostering greater political efficacy.

Research Category

Political Sciences/Philosophy/History

Primary Author's Major

Political Science

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Mark Cassell

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

March 2016

Research Area

American Politics | Political Science | Politics and Social Change | Race and Ethnicity

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Mar 15th, 1:00 PM

The Disproportionate Impact of Voting Regulations on Underrepresented Communities

Through examining polling data and survey results, one can observe a notable disparity between those who are active voters and those who identify as nonvoters. Often, this disparity can be characterized by differences in race, age and income group. Over the years there has been a consistent trend that shows that people who are non-white, under age 30, or have a family income of less than around thirty-thousand dollars are much less likely to vote than those who are white, older or make more money. The reasons for this vary. However, as I illustrate in this paper, the conditions that lead particular groups of people not to vote are exacerbated by policies that disproportionately affect them, putting them at a disadvantage when it comes to the exercise of voting rights. These policies include restrictions on early voting, the mechanism for counting provisional votes, as well as voter ID laws. Together, this creates a problem of de facto disenfranchisement amongst would-be voters, which in turn leads to lower voter turnout, lower efficacy and inaccurate representation in government. Using the state of Ohio as an example, as well as statistics from several sources, I describe how these policies have a negative impact on the ability of underrepresented communities to vote. I also devise solutions that will address and alleviate the issue, fostering greater political efficacy.