Redistricting and the Causal Impact of Race on Voter Turnout

Journal of Politics

Bernard L. Fraga
Publication Date
2016
Website
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Recent work challenges traditional understandings of the link between race and voter turnout, suggesting that there is limited evidence of increased minority voting due to co-ethnic representation and majority-minority districts. Here I examine 65.3 million registration records from 10 states to trace individual-level participation before and after the 2012 round of redistricting, testing whether a shift in congressional representation, candidacy, and/or district ethnic composition affected an individual’s decision to participate. Separating results for non-Hispanic white, black, Latino, and Asian American registrants, I find that individuals change their behavior in response to ethnoracial context, with African Americans more likely to vote when assigned to majority-black districts with black candidates or incumbents. White and Asian registrants also turn out in higher numbers when a co-ethnic candidate is on the ballot, but Latinos may be less likely to vote in the short term when assigned to majority-Latino districts.