Carol Cassel, “Vote misreporting and black turnout studies in the U.S.” Journal Article

Carol Cassel (University of Alabama)

Politics, Groups, and Identities (Published 2017)


Vote misreporting is a major concern for studies of electoral participation. Concern over nonvoters in surveys who claim to vote is especially relevant for black turnout studies in the U.S., because blacks misreport voting more than others. This research tests theories that black Americans feel special pressure to vote that increases misreporting and causes turnout studies to overestimate the influence of participation in black churches, racial group consciousness, and other factors. Tests comparing results from self-reported and validated voting models indicate that studies of black turnout overemphasize the importance of participation in black churches and political efficacy, and underestimate the relative importance of income. White turnout models are not so affected, signifying that the consequences of misreporting for black turnout studies are unique.