Justice Department Expert Witness: Blacks ‘Less Sophisticated Voters’

J. Christian Adams, Breitbart, October 20, 2014

An expert witness paid with tax dollars by the United States Department of Justice testified that North Carolina election laws impact black voters disproportionately and that blacks are less sophisticated.

Charles Stewart, a political scientist was retained by the Justice Department to testify against voter identification laws and other election integrity measures. His testimony argued that ending same day voter registration and requiring voters to vote in the precinct where they live constitutes racial discrimination.

When asked if terminating the ability to register to vote on the day that someone casts a ballot impacts blacks disproportionately, Stewart testified in court that it did. Stewart:

It’s also the case that–well, yes, so it would, empirically more likely affect African Americans. Also, understanding within political science, that people who register to vote the closer and closer one gets to Election Day tend to be less sophisticated voters, tend to be less educated voters, tend to be voters who are less attuned to public affairs. That also tells me from the literature of political science that there are likely to be people who will end up not registering and not voting. People who correspond to those factors tend to be African Americans, and, therefore, that’s another vehicle through which African Americans would be disproportionately affected by this law.

Blacks tend to be less sophisticated, less educated, and lower information voters, according to a taxpayer-funded Justice Department expert. {snip}


Stewart was also asked, “and you are saying that unsophisticated voters have more trouble figuring out what the rules and regulations are for voting. Is that your testimony?

Stewart: People who have lower education and who have less–that pay less attention to public affairs will have greater problems figuring out how to vote, yes.

Q. Okay. So your testimony is that African Americans are less sophisticated than white voters; is that right?

Stewart: My understanding is that African Americans have lower levels of education in North Carolina, and I know from the public opinion work that African Americans report that they paid less attention to public affairs on average than white voters do probably because of the differences the education.

Q. Do you think they are less able to figure out what the rules are for when you have to register to vote and when you have to go vote?

Stewart: The ability to figure these things out is related to one’s education. As I said, that ability–those average abilities are due to differences in things like education.

Q. Okay. So then you are saying that African American voters have less ability to figure out what the rules are for voting?

Stewart: I said African Americans have less education, which leads to an ability to navigate the rules of the game.


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