Did Disfranchisement Laws Help Elect President Bush? New Evidence on the Turnout Rates and Candidate Preferences of Florida’s Ex-Felons
- 642 Downloads
This paper re-examines the impact of Florida’s disfranchisement law on the 2000 Presidential election. The analysis simulates outcomes in Florida under scenarios consistent with the turnout rates of Georgia and North Carolina ex-felons in 2000 and Florida ex-felons in 2008. Survey evidence on candidate preferences as well as data on ex-felon party registration in Florida and North Carolina are used to produce estimates of support for Bush and Gore among ex-felons. Based on the simulations, the ex-felon population in Florida would have favored Bush in 2000. Assuming that ex-felons supported Gore at rates similar to GSS respondents with at most a high school diploma, Bush would have defeated Gore by 4,925 and 7,048 votes, assuming turnout of 10 and 15%, respectively.
KeywordsFelony disfranchisement Criminal justice Voting behavior 2000 General election
The author would like to thank Jennifer Hochschild, Sidney Verba, Kay Schlozman, Gary King, Dan Galvin, and Alec Ewald for their comments on earlier drafts of this paper.
- Bartels, L. M. (2005). What’s the Matter with What’s the Matter with Kansas? Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
- Beck, A. et al. (1993). Survey of State Prison Inmates, 1991. NCJ 136949, United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.Google Scholar
- Biemer, P., et al. (2003). An evaluation of procedures and operations used by the voter news service for the 2000 presidential election. Public Opinion Quarterly, 67, 32–44.Google Scholar
- Blalock, H. M. (1967). Toward a theory of minority-group relations. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Brown-Dean, K. L. (2003). Culture, context, and competition: Explaining state-level variation in felon disfranchisement laws. Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association. Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
- Bunche, R. J. (1973). The political status of the Negro. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Burch, T. (2007a). Punishment and participation: How criminal convictions threaten american democracy. Program in Government and Social Policy Ph.D., Harvard University, Cambridge, p. 250.Google Scholar
- Burch, T. (2007b). A Study of Felon and Misdemeanant Voter Participation in North Carolina. The Sentencing Project. Available online from http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/fd_northcarolina.pdf.
- Burch, T. (Forthcoming). Turnout and party registration among convicted offenders in the 2008 general election. Law and Society Review.Google Scholar
- Campbell, A., Converse, P., et al. (1960). The American voter. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Conn, J. B. (2005). Felon disfranchisement laws: Partisan politics in the legislatures. Michigan Journal of Race and Law, 10, 495–539.Google Scholar
- Dawson, M. C. (1994). Behind the mule. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Diedrich, J. (2006). Signs detailing voting rules for felons removed, returned; wording differs from state message. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.Google Scholar
- Federal Elections 2000: Election Results for the U.S. President, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives (2001) Federal Elections Commission.Google Scholar
- Finkel, S. E., & Scarrow, H. A. (1985). Party identification and party enrollment: The difference and the consequence. Journal of Politics, 47, 620–647.Google Scholar
- Fraga, L. R., & Leal, D. L. (2004). Playing the latino card: Race, ethnicity, and national party politics. The DuBois Review, 1(2), 297–317.Google Scholar
- Frank, T. (2004). What’s the matter with Kansas?. New York: Metropolitan Books.Google Scholar
- Grose, C. R., & Yoshinaka, A. (2002). Electoral Institutions and Voter Participation: The Effect of Felon Disfranchisement Laws on Voter Turnout in the U. S. Southern States, 1984–2000. Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. Boston, MA.Google Scholar
- Harlow, C. W. (2003). Education and correctional populations. Bureau of Justice Statistics.Google Scholar
- Hillygus, D. S., & Shields, T. G. (2005). Moral issues and voter decision making in the 2004 Presidential Election. PS: 201–209.Google Scholar
- Hull, E. A. (2006). The disfranchisement of Ex-Felons. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
- Key, V. O., Jr. (1949). Southern politics in State and Nation. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar
- Keyssar, A. (2000). The right to vote. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Konner, J., et al. (2001). Television’s Performance on Election Night 2000: A Report for CNN. Available online from http://archives.cnn.com/2001/ALLPOLITICS/stories/02/02/cnn.report/cnn.pdf. Accessed 17 Sep 2010.
- Krajick, K. (2004). Why can’t ex-felons vote? Washington, DC: The Washington Post.Google Scholar
- Kristof, N. D. (2004). Living poor, voting rich. New York: The New York Times.Google Scholar
- Kurtz, H. (2000). Exit wounds: Polls led networks astray; data, human error tied to Botched calls. The Washington Post, 9 November, A31.Google Scholar
- Leighley, J. E., & Nagler, J. (2007). Who votes now? And does it matter? Paper prepared for presentation at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, April 12–15, 2007.Google Scholar
- Manza, J., & Uggen, C. (2006). Locked out: Felon disfranchisement and American democracy. Cambridge: Oxford.Google Scholar
- Palast, G. (2001). The wrong way to fix the vote. Washington DC: The Washington Post.Google Scholar
- Pew Hispanic Center. (2008). Among Hispanics in Florida, 2008 Voter Registration Rolls Swing Democratic. Online; Accessed December 10, 2009, from http://pewhispanic.org/files/factsheets/44.pdf.
- Pierre, R. E. (2001). Botched name purge denied some the right to vote. Washington, DC: The Washington Post.Google Scholar
- Pierson, P. (2004). Politics in time. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Piven, F. F., & Cloward, R. A. (2000). Why American still don’t vote. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
- Stonecash, J. M. (2000). Class and party in American politics. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
- Word, D. L. & Colby Perkins, R. Jr. (1996). Building a Spanish surname list for the 1990’s—A new approach to an old problem. U. S. Bureau of the Census Technical Working Paper No. 13. Retrieved January 27, 2010, from http://www.census.gov/population/documentation/twopno13.pdf.