All Articles Tagged "voter turnout"
African Americans proved their voting power this past presidential election. And they did it in record numbers. According to a new analysis of census data by the Associated Press, African Americans “voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time,” reports the political blog Think Progress.
If black people had turned out in the same numbers as they did in 2004, when African-American turnout was below its now historic levels, Republican Mitt Romney would have “won narrowly.”
According to the 2012 data, “Obama’s personal appeal and the slowly improving economy helped overcome doubts” and pushed minority voting to record levels. GOP candidate Romney, on the other hand, could not motivate enough white voters, let alone pull in substantial numbers of black or Latino voters.
“The 2008 election was the first year when the minority vote was important to electing a U.S. president. By 2024, their vote will be essential to victory,” William H. Frey, a demographer who analyzed the 2012 elections for the AP, said. “Democrats will be looking at a landslide going into 2028 if the new Hispanic voters continue to favor Democrats.”
African Americans represented 13 percent of total votes cast in 2012 while making up 12 percent of the population. And they voted despite many obstacles. According to a poll by Hart Research conducted immediately after the election, 22 percent of African Americans waited 30 minutes or more to vote, compared to just nine percent of white voters. Another analysis from Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that black and Hispanic voters waited nearly twice as long to vote as whites. Florida was home to the longest lines, which resulted in people giving up and not voting. At least 201,000 people may have not cast a vote because of the overly long waits.
Also, black youth was more likely to be asked to show ID, found a study by professors at the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis. And many did not even attempt to vote because they did not have the required identification.
In order to prove their importance as a voting bloc, African Americans will need to push past the record in upcoming elections.
(New York Times) — Despite contests for every statewide office for the first time in decades, a smaller share of eligible voters turned out two weeks ago in New York than in any other state. In fact, New York’s turnout was lower than in any midterm election for at least three decades. On the basis of unofficial returns, about 40 percent of registered New Yorkers voted on Nov. 2. But an analysis by the United States Election Project at George Mason University found that only 32.1 percent of the 13.4 million who were eligible — citizens 18 and older who are not convicted felons — actually voted.