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Thomas Gallatin / March 16, 2017

Anti-Voter ID Study Debunked

A review of a voter ID study finds it to be full of holes.

Last month the Leftmedia heralded a study from the universities of San Diego and Bucknell purporting to show that voter ID laws suppress the minority vote. The Washington Post helped the cause by injecting a racist angle, running a story titled, “New evidence that voter ID laws ‘skew democracy’ in favor of white Republicans.” The trouble is, the study turns out to be bunk. Professors from Stanford, Yale and the University of Pennsylvania released their review of the voter ID study and, well, you could say the professors gave it an “F.”

David Freddoso of the Washington Examiner sums it up: The original study’s authors “used the wrong data, they misinterpreted that data, they failed to take into account other pre-existing factors that explain differences between states with and without voter ID, and when tested, their model demonstrably assumes what it is trying to prove.”

The Left’s opposition to common sense voter ID laws has been a long-running effort to promote the false narrative that such laws are inherently racist and are a tool of Republicans designed to suppress the minority vote. On this flawed basis, leftists summarily dismiss legitimate concerns over the integrity of the vote as being merely Republican political pandering and the problem of voter fraud as practically nonexistent.

The review of the study flatly contradicts what its authors originally claimed. The reviewing professors found no varying voting numbers between those states with voter ID laws and those without. The review states, “In no specification do we find that primary or general turnout significantly declined between 2010 and 2014 in states that implemented a strict voter ID law in the interim.” And why would it? Various other ID laws abound across the nation and in every state, and those laws are not deemed racist or suppressive. They are understood to be common sense tools necessary for the proper functioning of a modern society. Certainly for any representative government to function with integrity, it must protect its citizens’ vote.

What is clear is that the progenitors of the faulty study manipulated the data in order to support their political agenda. Logan Churchwell, a spokesman for the Public Interest Legal Foundation, states, “For a perfect example of the term ‘alternate facts’ look no further [than this faulty study]. 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.” Too often what is passed off as “scientific fact” is more accurately categorized as unsubstantiated opinion.

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