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D. Alex Hughes

Persistent Bias Among Local Election Officials

Lecture | January 17 | 12:10-1:30 p.m. | 210 South Hall

D. Alex Hughes

Information, School of

Results of an audit study conducted during the 2016 election cycle demonstrate that the bias toward Latinos observed during the 2012 election has persisted. In addition to replicating previous results, we show that Arabs face an even greater barrier to communicating with local election officials. Our study did not produce evidence of discrimination against blacks, a finding that echoes the results of other recent studies. We examine one explanation for the high level of discrimination against Arabs, that bureaucrats are politically responsive. Our findings support this explanation. In geographies that cast more votes for the Republican candidate, discrimination against Arab names was stronger.