Voter ID and Confidence in Elections

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The Ohio State University

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In this thesis, I examine the effects of voter ID [VID] laws on public confidence in elections. The Supreme Court identified this as a valid state interest justifying the burdens imposed by these laws, but at the time of the Crawford decision, they had no way to examine the truthfulness of that claim. I examine this possible relationship using data from Pew Research Center surveys ranging from 2004--2016. I conduct an event study analysis to demonstrate that various types of VID laws have significant attitudinal consequences. I further present evidence that these effects are strongest among Democrats and non-whites, and that failed VID proposals have a uniquely polarizing effect on public opinion. These findings strongly imply that further discussion and research is needed when considering the true constitutionality of these laws.



public opinion, voter ID laws, confidence in elections, election laws