Picturing Democracy: An Empirical Analysis of the Impact on Voter Turnout of Photographic Identification Requirements in Georgia

Brief Overview:

Following the 2000 presidential election, there was a public outcry over the manner in which elections were conducted in the United States. This outcry led to the creation of the Commission on Comprehensive Reform which published its recommendations in a report entitled Building Confidence in U.S. Elections. Among the recommendations presented was a requirement for electors to present a photographic identification when casting a ballot in person. The State of Georgia implemented this requirement in 2005 with House Bill 244, which was struck down in court, and again in 2006 with Senate Bill 84. The requirements in Georgia, as well as in Indiana which also adopted photographic identification requirements, were challenged as being an unconstitutional imposition on the right to vote, a challenge which rose all the way to the United States Supreme Court in Crawford v. Marion County Elections Board.

This paper empirically examines the 2008 elections in contrast to the 2004 elections, which was the last presidential election year under the previous requirements. While controlling for various socioeconomic factors, the turnout rates from these two years will be analyzed at the county level.



Jan Mabie, PhD (chair)
Professor of Political Science and Public Administration
Chair, Department of Government and Sociology
Faculty member since 1973
A.B., University of Rochester
M.A., Washington University
Ph.D., Washington University

Veronica Womack, PhD
Assistant Professor of Political Science and Public Administration
Faculty member since 2002
B.A., University of Alabama
M.P.A., University of Alabama
Ph.D. University of Alabama

Sara Buck Doude, PhD
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
Faculty member since 2006
B.S., Middle Tennessee State University
M.S., University of Southern Mississippi
Ph.D. University of Southern Mississippi

Jerry Herbel, PhD (ex-officio)
Assistant Professor of Political Science and Public Administration
Master of Public Administration Coordinator
Faculty member since 2005
B.S., Emporia State University
M.P.A, University of Oklahoma
Ph.D., University of Oklahoma