This study analyzes findings from extant research on voter identification legislation, population growth, and the influence of geography on political participation. Research was conducted to determine the impact of photo ID voting requirements on voter turnout among African Americans in a number of ‘battleground’ states for the 2012 presidential election. Spatial analysis of several variables from the Census American Community Survey (ACS) data was completed and visualized using ArcGIS online to show populations at a higher disadvantage of obtaining a Voter ID due to the lack of vehicles and the distance from the nearest Government ID issuing facility. Findings, although inconclusive, help political organizers and policy makers target politically vulnerable African Americans who face practical obstacles to civic engagement due to geography, i.e. reduced opportunity voters (ROVs), and the validation of their citizenship.
Here’s the link to our work on the Joint Center’s website.