Opinion | This Is One Republican Strategy That Isn’t Paying Off


The lack of this crucial information, Crayton continued,

has meant that Section 2 plaintiffs must gather much of this material through discovery, a litigation tool that involves far more time and resources than when Section 5 was operational. Alabama’s current illegal congressional map has stood for almost a full election cycle, denying Black voters an equal opportunity to elect candidates of choice. At least part of this unjust delay is due to the extra time needed to build the factual case showing the Section 2 violation.

Guy-Uriel Charles, a law professor at Harvard who directs the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, argued in an email that “from a democracy perspective,” partisan outcomes are “the wrong way to think about voting rights.”

What matters most, in Charles’s view, “is whether voter suppression laws prevent eligible voters — whether those voters are Republicans or Democrats; Black, White, Asian, Native, or Latino; live in the South or the North; poor or rich, college educated or not — from exercising what ought to be a fundamental right.”

In addition to Elias, there are others who challenge Grimmer and Hersh’s portrayal of minimal effects on election outcomes resulting from new legislation.

Thad Kousser, a political scientist at U.C.S.D., wrote by email that he sees “two possible caveats to Grimmer and Hersh’s overall message that voter participation reforms have ‘essentially no effect on partisan advantage’.”

First, Kousser wrote, “even marginal partisan effects can be consequential in a nail-bitingly close election.” Kousser pointed to an “illustrative example” that Grimmer and Hersh use,

a reform that increased turnout by 1.25 percentage points overall — a size similar to the impact of many real-world reforms — would yield a decrease in the Republican candidate’s vote margin of 7,500 votes, out of 487,500 votes cast. Because the authors assume in their example that the state overall is strongly Republican, this would only reduce ‘the two-party share for the Republican candidate from 78.46 percent to 77.00 percent.’ In that example, it would not be large enough to swing the election. But of course, if the state were much more closely contested, those 7,500 votes could change the winner. And if the votes were concentrated in a few legislative districts, they could also play an important role in those outcomes.

Second, Kousser wrote,

There are some recent reforms that may have significantly larger impacts than those reviewed by Grimmer and Hersh. California’s recent law that shifts most off-cycle local elections onto the same schedule as even-year presidential and gubernatorial elections is proving to have major impacts on the size and composition of the electorates voting for mayors, county supervisors, and school boards.

Kousser pointed to a 2022 paper “Who votes: City election timing and voter composition” — by Zoltan L Hajnal, Vladimir Kogan and G. Agustin Markarian, political scientists at U.C.S.D., Ohio State and Loyola University-Chicago — which examined the changed composition of the electorate in California as cities shifted from holding local elections on days separate from federal contests to holding them on the same day, known as “on cycle elections.”


Source link


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *