Well, the voting rights bills have crashed and burned (though the more consequential Electoral Counts Act reforms are still alive). That means the many of the various state voting procedure laws Republicans passed are going to be with us for awhile. Republicans claimed that ways these laws tightened up voting procedures would simply prevent fraud though the partisan motivation of reducing Democratic turnout and advantaging Republicans was easy to see.
Democrats on the other hand characterized these laws as voter suppression that amounted to a New Jim Crow, etc. Well, the intent may have been to prevent more Democrats, particularly black Democrats, from getting to the polls....but a New Jim Crow is absurd overstatement for this simple reason: these voting procedure changes don't work and haven't worked to affect outcomes much.
If only the old Jim Crow had been so ineffective!
Alan Abramowitz provides a solid, clean analysis of the very minor league effects of these voting procedure changes. Bottom line: you can relax about these changes, however ill-intended they may be. If the Democrats lose in coming elections it is not likely--in fact, very unlikely--it will have much to do with the various voting procedure laws GOP legislatures have passed.
"An important question raised by both these new laws and Democratic efforts to override them is just how effective such voter suppression laws would be in reducing voter turnout among Democratic-leaning voter groups. In an earlier article in the Crystal Ball, I examined the impact of expanded absentee voting on the 2020 election. I concluded that increased use of absentee voting had only a small impact on turnout and no effect at all on the Democratic margin in the 2020 presidential election. In this article, I expand my focus to look at the effects of other voting procedures that Republicans have targeted, including increased availability of early in-person voting, use of drop boxes for absentee voting, and stricter identification requirements for absentee and in-person.
The results reinforce the findings of my previous research. These voting rules had only minor effects on turnout and no effect at all on the Democratic margin in the presidential election....
Voting procedures that have been falsely attacked by former President Trump and his political allies for contributing to voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election actually had little impact on voter turnout and no measurable impact on the margin in the presidential election at the state level. Voter turnout increased dramatically in 2020 for reasons that had very little to do with the voting procedures used by different states. Moreover, Joe Biden improved on Hillary Clinton’s performance in 2016 for reasons that had nothing to do with the voting procedures used by different states.
Both voter turnout and voting decisions in 2020 were driven by the strong preferences held by the large majority of voters between the major party candidates. That is very likely to be the case again in the 2022 midterm elections and especially in the 2024 presidential election. Thus, efforts by Republican-controlled state legislatures to suppress turnout by Democratic-leaning voter groups by imposing restrictions on absentee voting, early in-person voting, and use of drop boxes or by requiring that voters present photo identification in order to vote are unlikely to bear fruit. Such efforts could even backfire by angering voters who are the targets of these efforts and by causing left-leaning voting rights groups to increase their voter registration and GOTV efforts."
Worth your time. Most Democrats seem to be entirely unaware of empirical research like this. Maybe if they were they could calm down a little and focus on the really important stuff.
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