Professor in Political Science and Computer and Information Science

David Lazer

"Voters of the Year": 19 Voters Who Were Unintentional Election Poll Sensors on Twitter

Peer Reviewed Computer Science Conference
Publication date: 
05/2017
Authors: 
Will Hobbs
Lisa Friedland
Kenneth Joseph
Oren Tsur
Stefan J. Wojcik
David Lazer
"Voters of the Year": 19 Voters Who Were Unintentional Election Poll Sensors on Twitter

Over the past 12 years, nearly 20 U.S. States have adopted voter photo identification laws, which require voters to show a picture ID to vote. These laws have been challenged in numerous lawsuits, resulting in a variety of court decisions and, in several instances, revised legislation.

Supporters argue that photo ID rules are necessary to safeguard the sanctity and legitimacy of the voting process by preventing people from impersonating other voters. They say that essentiall every U.S. citizen possesses an acceptable photo ID, or can relatively easily get one. Opponents argue that that's not true; that laws requiring voters to show photo ID disenfranchise registered voters who don't have the accepted forms of photo ID and can't easily get one. Further, they say, these lallws confuse some registered voters, who therefore don't bother to vote at all. Opponents also point out that there are almost no documented cases of voter impersonation fraud. Supporters counter that without a photo ID requirement, we have no idea how much fraud there might be.

Research Areas TOC

Computational Social Science, Collective Cognition

Computational Social Science, 21st Century Democracy, Political Networks

DNA and the Criminal Justice System

21st Century Democracy, Political Networks