Professor Eugene Mazo presents on Voter ID Laws at Stetson University Conference on March 27-28

Professor Eugene Mazo

Photo of Professor Eugene Mazo

Professor Eugene Mazo will present his paper, ”Do Voter ID Laws Suppress the Vote, or Do They Instead Have the Opposite Effect?,” at a conference on Thursday and Friday, March 27-28, at Stetson University in Florida. The conference is entitled “Democracy in America: Participation and Social Justice.” Professor Mazo will be presenting on Friday, March 28.

Mazo’s paper discusses recent laws that legislators have passed making voting more regimented. He talks about how this increases the hurdle for voters, including by requiring them to present an ID card in order to vote.

In 2002, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), a federal reform initiative that changed the way that state governments were able to control their rolls of eligible voters. HAVA sought to ensure that the 2000 election did not repeat itself, and it did so by allowing the States to enact new voter ID legislation to require voters to show an ID card at the polls. These voter ID laws typically require a voter to prove his or her identity before that person can cast a ballot.

Mazo says, “The new voter ID laws represent some of the most partisan and tricky issues facing the American republic today. But the questions we need to be asking concern not whether we should have these laws on the books or not, but rather – given that some states insist on adopting them – how they can be implemented in a responsible fashion so that they ultimately work to broaden the electorate, ensure that more people are registered to vote, and safeguard the cherished freedoms and cultural diversity that make America’s democracy so unique.”

Mazo explained that currently, 34 states have voter ID laws on the books.

“As these debates have simmered, one interesting question that has not received enough attention concerns what the effects of these voter ID laws have been,” he said. “Are these controversial new laws actually suppressing the vote, or are they having the opposite effect? While liberal groups argue that the new voter ID laws work to disenfranchise minorities and the poor, conservatives have tried to show that these same laws have instead galvanized voter registration drives and increased voter turnout. Which group is correct? The evidence, as it turns out, is mixed.”

Presentations in the schedule for the conference include:

Thursday, March 27, Carlton Union Building

7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Keynote address by Peter Levine, “Civic Renewal in America.“ Stetson Room. Open to the Public.

Friday, March 28, Lynn Business Center

8:30 a.m. – 9:20 a.m. Featured Speaker: Wendy A. Bach, “Participatory Democracy, Poverty and Social Welfare: Historical Moments and Present Opportunities.” Rinker auditorium.

9:30 a.m. – 9:55 a.m. Session 1

Paul Croce, “Learning from People You Hate: Making Use of Polarization to Address Gridlocked Politics.

Daniel A. Smith and Michael Herron, “Absentee Ballot Rejection Rates in the 2012 Elections in Florida.

James W. Fox, Jr., “Black Originalism.

Eliezer Poupko, “The Costs of Voting—Bridging Theory and Policy.”

10:00 a.m. – 10:25 a.m. Session 2

Susan Peppers-Bates and Joshua Rust, “Deracing Place: Care respect, Desegregation and Implicit Bias and the aims of Democratic Governance.”

Alexis Walker, “Social Policy and Political Voice: the Dampening Effect of Means-Tested Programs on Recipients’ Political Participation.

Douglas Rivero and Manuel De Leon, “Gramsci, Global Capitalism and the Destruction of the Environment and Indigenous Communities across the Americas.”

Steven Smallpage, “The U-Distribution in Value Choices and Apathy in American Political Culture: Implications for Political Participation Debates.

10:30 a.m. -11:00 a.m. Session 3

John K Schorr and Angela S. Boudreaux, “The Effect of Public Fear of Terrorism on American Attitudes Concerning Civil Liberties and Privacy.

Kirsten Davis, “The Lawyer, Speaking in Public: Rhetorical Constructions of Lawyer Identity in First Amendment Cases.”

Harry M Hipler, “Tocqueville’s Slow and Steady Democratic Order:  Same Sex Marriage, US V. Windsor, And The Dilemma of Majority Tyranny, Federalism, and Equality Of Conditions.

Ranjini Tahver, “Universities’ Contribution to Restorative Justice in the Criminal Justice System Through Prisoner Education Programs. 

11:10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Featured Speaker: Vanessa Beasley, “Speaking at Selma: Public Memory and the Challenges of Commemoration.“ Rinker Auditorium.

2:00 p.m. – 2:25 p.m. Session 4

Stephen Day, “Problems of Recent Democratization in the Arab World.

Eugene Mazo, “Do Voter ID Laws Suppress the Vote, or Do They Have the Opposite Effect?

Bill Ball, “Reconceptualizing Locality and Citizen Competence in Contemporary America.

2:30 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. Session 5

Mayhill Fowler, “‘Revolution in Ukraine: Post-socialism as Cultural Crisis.

Alan Green, “Can Democracies Have Good Policies in a Crisis?

David Hill. “Improving Democracy at the Local Level: Participatory Budgeting in New York City, Chicago, Vallejo (and DeLand?).”

3:00 p.m. – 3:25 p.m. Session 6

Bill Nylen, “Why do Developing Countries Invest in Higher Education?

Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, “Safeguarding Markets from Pernicious Pay to Play: A Model Explaining Why the SEC Regulates Money in Politics.

Eugene Huskey, “Citizen Oversight of Executive Agencies: Kyrgyzstan’s Experiment with Diagonal Accountability.

3:35 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Featured Speaker: Robert Hackett, “Informing and Connecting Engaged Citizens: Higher Education’s Role.” Rinker Auditorium

For more information about the conference go here.