Tracing Effects of Voter ID Laws on Immigrant Political Engagement

University of Southern California

Abstract

In recent years, growing political discourse about the threat of voter fraud has driven legislative efforts to implement voter ID requirements across a number of states. Much research tests the effects of these voter ID laws on voter turnout, with mixed evidence. However, beyond these direct effects, studies show that racialized policies like voter ID laws have spillover effects on political culture and how groups, like immigrant rights organizations, organize and do political work. This research is centered on examining the relationship between Voter ID laws and the immigrant-serving organizations working to draw immigrants into the fold of civic life. As states grapple with the aftermath of CO VID-19 alongside contentious political debates over voter fraud and voter disenfranchisement, understanding the spillover effects of Voter ID laws in a time of social crisis has significant stakes for the longterm health of American democracy. This project engages these questions harnessing a unique dataset of immigrant-serving organizations in six states with varying Voter ID laws and levels of immigrant receptivity. We compare how organizational strategies are reshaped in reaction to Voter ID laws from 2010 through the 2020 COVID-19 crisis, whether these strategies vary across states with different levels of legislative stringency, and the extent to which these strategies are effective. Findings will be analyzed to lay out best practices for policymakers, organizations, and scholars working to maximize immigrant civic engagement, voter turnout, and the preservation of American democracy.

Research Team

Principal Investigator

Hajar Yazdiha

Assistant Professor, University of Southern California

  • Bio ▾

    Hajar Yazdiha is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Southern California, faculty affiliate of the Equity Research Institute, and former postdoctoral fellow of the USC Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change. Dr. Yazdiha’s research uses mixed methods to examine the mechanisms underlying the politics of inclusion and exclusion as they shape collective behavior, intergroup relations, and political culture. This work bridges subfields of race and ethnicity, migration, social movements, religion, and culture and has been published in numerous scholarly journals including Social Problems, Mobilization, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Ethnic and Racial Studies, and Socius.

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