Racism Against Blacks Linked to Voter-ID Laws

ColorLines voting-rights reporter Aura Bogado has discovered what many have already assumed: Folks who don't really like African Americans are more likely to support voter-ID laws.

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A recent survey by the University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication shows that those in support of voter-ID laws usually harbor "negative sentiments towards African Americans," writes ColorLines' Aura Bogado. It's little surprise, then, that the laws, which require one or more forms of hard-to-get identification in order to vote, primarily affect minorities.

Researchers at the University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication weren't surprised to find that most Republicans and conservatives were in favor of voter ID laws -- regardless of how they measured on the "racial resentment" scale used in the study. The shocker came when Democrats and liberals who rated highest on the racial resentment scale also indicated support for voter ID laws.

How likely one is to possess or be able to acquire a specific form of voter ID is also affected by race. The Brennan Center released a report illustrating, among other challenges to obtaining identification, the lack of overlap between offices that issue valid voter IDs and high populations of people of color. More than one million blacks and half-a-million Latinos live more than 10 miles away from such offices.

One map in the study illustrates that in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, driver's license offices that are open more than twice a week are located largely away from rural black populations. An additional map illustrates that areas with high Latino populations also lack offices that issue IDs that will be considered valid if Texas requires them in the upcoming election.

Read Aura Bogado's entire piece at ColorLines.

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