Persistent Bias Among Local Election Officials
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.
D. Alex Hughes is a post-doctoral researcher at the UC Berkeley School of Information. In 2016 he received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, San Diego. He also studied at the University of Michigan, where he graduated with a B.A. in political science and a B.A. in econometrics.
Hughes researches how group identity shapes access and behavior in politics. Often, this takes the form of experiments. His research has been published in Perspectives on Politics, California Journal of Politics and Policy, The Lancet, PNAS, and field journals.