Voting

2010 ACS No Vehicle Data Supports the Concerns of New Voter ID Laws Impact on Minorities

A review of the 2010 American Community Survey 1 Year Data indicates that minority race or ethnic population groups have a much higher percentage of “no vehicle” present at the residence. Residences that do not have vehicles present are more likely to have individuals that do not have driver’s licenses which are the most common form of IDs with a photo. This tends to validate the recent claims by a Brennan Center for Justice’s report (see Voting Law Changes in 2012). The report indicates that new State laws disproportionately disenfranchising young, low income, and minority voters.

Those without driver’s licenses commonly use other forms of identification such as a utility bill, paycheck, bank statement or government document showing the name and address of voter. Most of these other forms will be no longer be allowed to identify the voter when these new laws are passed.

The percentage of all housing units that do not have a vehicle present was 9.1% (see Figure 1). The race or ethnic population group with the highest percentage of residences without a vehicle was African Americans at 19.8%. This percentage was three times more than the population group with the lowest rate, who were White Americans with 6.5%. American Indians and Hispanics/Latinos came in second and third highest respectively with 13.3% and 12.6%. All minority population groups were higher than the rate for all populations except Pacific Islanders/Alaskan Natives with 6.8%.

Note: The Census Bureau’s 2010 ACS survey S0201 table portion on Vehicle Available includes occupied housing units with: 1) no vehicle present; and 2) units with 1 or more vehicles present. The U.S. Census Bureau defines a housing unit as a house, an apartment, a group of rooms or a single room intended for occupancy as separate living quarters.

 

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