Schraufnagel, Scot D.
B.S. (Bachelor of Science)
Department of Political Science
The goal of this capstone is to answer the question: “Why do some states have higher cost of voting than others?” I believe that the answer to this is that Republicans try to make it harder for minorities to vote. The reason for focusing on this question is because many people believe it is a race related issue. There have been countless discussions during election season between Democrats and Republicans that claim Republicans try to make it harder for people of color to vote. These claims, which are believed by many, especially with the issues that arose in the 2018 Georgia Governor’s race, have yet to be proven. I approach this question by comparing state minority populations to a Cost of Voting Index (COVI) recently created by professors at Northern Illinois University, the University of Jacksonville and Wuhan University in China. The focus was on African American and Latinx populations from 1996 to 2016, and it was an attempt to see if there was a positive correlation between these numbers and higher values on the COVI. To determine the role that Republicans might have played Republican Party control of state legislatures was also measured and compared to the COVI. After analyzing the data, it was determined there was a positive and significant correlation between African Americans and the COVI but this was not the case with the Latinx population. When I looked at how Republican control of state legislatures correlates with COVI it was realized that there was not a positive correlation until the 2016 presidential election. Since this did not support my hypothesis, I shifted the focus to Republican Party control and African American populations working in unison. In doing so I discovered that the Cost of Voting in a state increases the most under the condition of greater Republican Party control working in conjunction with larger African American populations. In other words, the COVI is higher when the state legislature is controlled by the GOP and there is a larger African American population in the state.
Harris, Zakyrah E., "A Study of the Cost of Voting for People of Color" (2019). Honors Capstones. 74.
Northern Illinois University
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