Posts

The National Science Foundation has issued a nearly $1 million grant to a group of racial and ethnic politics researchers from across the nation led by UCLA’s Lorrie Frasure-Yokley, Associate Professor of Political Science and African American Studies, and Matt Barreto, Professor of Political Science and Chicana and Chicano Studies.  It will help support the groundbreaking Collaborative Multiracial Post-Election Survey, known as the CMPS, which looks to bring together young scholars and expands the number of ethnic and racial groups participating in a national survey. In its fourth installment, the CMPS will examine the 2020 election.

In a UCLA Newsroom story, written by Jessica Wolf, Professor Frasure-Yokley stated, “We accomplished what we set out to do, which was radically expand opportunities, especially for those early in their career or who are working at smaller or minority-serving institutions, to conduct research and even more importantly – publish their research, which is necessary to advance one’s academic career. And now, with stronger infrastructure provided by this major NSF grant, we can focus on expanding those opportunities even more.”

L.A. Social Science would like to congratulate both Professors Frasure-Yokley and Barreto and their research team. Read the entire UCLA Newsroom story HERE.

 

 

Credit: Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

UCLA lecturer and co-director of the UCLA Voting Rights Center, Chad Dunn, secures a settlement with the State of Texas requiring it rescind a voter purge of newly naturalized citizens. The settlement agreement can be found HERE, and it requires Texas to withdraw their earlier advisory claiming there were 95,000 illegally registered non-citizen voters in Texas. The 95,000 figure, which is wrong and has now, as part of the settlement, been withdrawn, was retweeted by President Trump. Texas must now institute a much smaller and more targeted program to investigate non-citizen registrants.

In the Fall 2018, UCLA launched a Voting Rights Center with Mr. Dunn and Political Science and Chicana/o Studies Professor Matt Barreto.  Undergraduate, graduate and law students now have the opportunity to learn and train under some of the pre-eminent voting rights experts and civil rights lawyers in the country.

More about the Texas case can be learned at the following links:

Texas agrees to rescind voter citizenship investigation – News – Austin American-Statesman – Austin, TX

Texas will end its botched voter citizenship review and rescind its list of flagged voters | The Texas Tribune

Texas rescinding list of possible noncitizen voters, ending botched review | The Texas Tribune

For previous coverage of this case in LA Social Science, click HERE.

Credit: Brennan Center for Justice

These last two weeks, a court in San Antonio, Texas has taken evidence in a case challenging the state’s targeting of non-native born Americans who are legally registered to vote.  UCLA Lecturer, Chad Dunn, examined a number of witnesses in the trial including the architect of the voter purge, the state’s Director of Elections.  This week, the federal judge ruled against in the plan in a sharply worded order available HERE.  In the newly established UCLA Voting Rights Workshop Co-Chaired by Dr. Matt Barreto and Chad Dunn, students at UCLA are learning in real-time the legal theories, expert witness methods and case techniques needed to handle important cases such as this one.

You can read more about the case at the following links:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/28/us/texas-voter-rolls.html

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2019/02/20/state-employee-abruptly-resigned-after-working-texas-noncitizens-list-may-avoiding-court-appearance

https://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/The-official-leading-Texas-effort-to-scrub-13632333.php

By Chad Dunn, Brazil & Dunn, Attorneys at Law, and Matt Barreto, Professor of Political Science and Chicana/o Studies, UCLA

In 2013, Texas passed a restrictive voter identification law requiring any potential voter to show a government-issued photo ID before they could vote. However, Texas was subject to the preclearance provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA), Section 5; and before the law could be put into place, Texas had to prove to the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. that the law would not have a discriminatory effect on racial and ethnic minorities. Chad Dunn along with other attorneys, intervened in the case and offered evidence that the law would prevent Texans from voting and that minorities would be disproportionately impacted, a result that was intended by the number and nature of IDs Texas chose to allow. Texas lost that court case and the D.C. Court found the voter ID law did have a significant discriminatory effect and blocked Texas from implementing this law. That was when the Voting Rights Act had its full weight.

In 2014, in Shelby v. Holder the Supreme Court held that the Section 5 requirements that stopped Texas from discriminating against voters was outdated and they struck down the so-called Federal preclearance requirements in so far as Congress had applied it to various states and jurisdictions. Within minutes of the ruling, Texas reinstituted their voter ID law, which had already been found to be discriminatory.

https://www.brennancenter.org/legal-work/shelby-county-v-holder

Without Section 5 and Texas intent on enforcing their discriminatory ID law, voting rights attorneys would need to step in and find individual plaintiffs to sue Texas under a different provision, Section 2 of the VRA. On June 28, 2014, Dunn and other nationally known civil rights lawyers filed a lawsuit against Texas alleging that the voter ID law, had a discriminatory effect against blacks and Latinos, and more, that Texas passed this law with discriminatory intent. In an era without the Federal oversight protections of Section 5, it is now incumbent on civil rights advocacy groups and voting rights attorneys to bring individual lawsuits against voting procedures they believe are discriminatory; and to do this, they must rely on academic experts in history and the social sciences to prove, with thorough and methodical research and data analysis, that a voting rule or procedure discriminates against a specific racial or ethnic group. In the case of Texas, Mr. Dunn reached out to Professor Matt Barreto (Chicana/o Studies & Political Science) to provide a critical piece of the social science expertise documenting discriminatory effect.

Barreto collaborated with University of New Mexico Professor Gabriel Sanchez, to implement a large statewide survey of eligible voters across the state of Texas and determine what types of documents and identifications potential voters in Texas possessed. For would-be voters who did not have a proper photo ID, the survey probed if they had the necessary underlying documents needed to go an obtain an ID. Further, Barreto and Sanchez assessed the barriers placed in front of Texas citizens to get a photo ID, such as needing to take time off work, having to find someone to provide transportation, having to drive over 20 miles to the nearest driver’s license office, or having to pay fees to track down their original birth certificate. In full, the social science research pointed to a clear pattern of discriminatory effect in which blacks and Latinos in Texas were statistically less likely to possess a photo ID, and statistically less likely to have the underlying documents necessary to obtain an ID. Further, due to extensive disparities in socioeconomic status, blacks and Latinos in Texas faced considerably more barriers than whites in being able to obtain an ID.

Dunn and Barreto have successfully worked on numerous Voting Rights cases and are now collaborating on a graduate level class at UCLA the includes masters, PhD and JD students. In this class, students learn the steps toward successful prosecution of voting cases from the perspective of the trial lawyer and the expert witness.

 

Chad Dunn of Brazil & Dunn, Attorneys at Law, consistently receives awards from legal publications for his extensive trial and litigation practice in Courts all over the country. From the United States Supreme Court, the Fifth Circuit, the Texas Supreme Court and virtually all trial and appellate courts below, Chad has the experience to prevail in the most difficult conditions and environments. He has handled complicated litigation in various states including Texas, Tennessee, the District of Columbia, New Mexico, North Carolina and Florida, and has tried numerous jury cases, trials to the bench and arbitrations.

Matt A. Barreto is Professor of Political Science and Chicana/o Studies at UCLA and the co-founder of the research and polling firm Latino Decisions. Time Magazine called Latino Decisions the “gold-standard in Latino American polling” and The Guardian wrote that Latino Decisions is “the leading Latino political opinion research group” in the United States. Barreto’s research was recognized in the 30 Latinos key to the 2012 election by Politic365, listed in the Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2012 by the European Politics Magazine LSDP, and was named one of the top 15 leading Latino pundits by Huffington Post which said Barreto was “the pollster that has his finger on the pulse of the Latino electorate.” In 2015, Barreto was hired by the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign to run polling and focus groups on Latino voters.

October 24, 2018

UCLA Professor Matt Barreto wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times titled “Even for Trump, There Is Such a Thing as Too Far” that discusses election research with a focus on immigration.  He writes:

“Baseless fear-mongering is not what makes America great. Standing up for an inclusive and welcoming society sends a message to immigrant and minority voters that candidates are on their side — and this can lead to greater voter turnout.”

To read the rest of the informative piece, click HERE.