Title

Palmetto Postmortem: Examining the Effects of the South Carolina Voter Identification Statute

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2020

Abstract

In 2011, South Carolina passed a government-issued photo identification (ID) statute. We examine the effects of this law on overall turnout, as well as for minority turnout in particular. A series of difference-in-difference tests are specified using individual-level population data on registrants with and without ID, comparing the 2010 (pre-implementation) and 2014 (post-implementation) election cycles. The results of our analysis indicate that the voter ID statute did dampen overall turnout. These findings comport with recent scholarship which has found evidence that voter ID laws can lower turnout rates. The size of the effect, however, is quite diminutive. We estimate that initial implementation of the South Carolina statute decreased turnout in the 2014 general election by 0.19 percent. In addition, the evidence gathered on the question of racial effects indicates that there is no discernible racial impact from the state’s voter ID law.

Department

Government and Sociology

Volume Number

73

Issue Number

2

First Page

492

Last Page

505

DOI

10.1177/1065912919837663

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