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68 Stan. L. Rev. 1455 (2016)

handle is hein.journals/stflr68 and id is 1503 raw text is: ARTICLE
Revisiting Public Opinion on Voter
Identification and Voter Fraud in an Era of
Increasing Partisan Polarization
Charles Stewart III, Stephen Ansolabehere & Nathaniel Persily*
Abstract. This Article updates previous findings concerning the relationship between
voter identification laws and perceptions of voter fraud. Courts have established that voter
identification laws can be justified as measures that safeguard voter confidence. We
demonstrate once again, but with the benefit of new survey data, that people who live in
states with voter identification laws do not have greater confidence in elections or
perceive lower rates of voter impersonation fraud. Since we last published on the subject,
however, we notice an increase in the partisan structure of public opinion on voter
identification and voter fraud. As the issue has become more salient and partisan in tone,
partisan identity has become a more powerful variable in predicting both support for
voter identification laws and beliefs in the prevalence of voter fraud. We note, however,
that strong majorities continue to support such laws, even though a large share of the
population remains unaware of the existence of voter identification requirements.
* Charles Stewart III is the Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science at
MIT. Stephen Ansolabehere is Professor of Government at Harvard University; he
consulted for the Department of Justice in Veasey v. Perry, before the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division (No. 2:13cv00193). Nathaniel
Persily is the James B. McClatchy Professor of Law at Stanford Law School.


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