Now that we know where we came from, the focus shifts to where we’re going. Since 1964, women’s voter percentage turnouts have exceeded their male counterparts.
In the last five elections where millennial-aged Black women were legally able to participate in the voting process, Black women continued to be one of the most active voters among eligible women voters.
Today, at least 15 million Black women are voting-age U.S. citizens, according to the Center For American Progress.
In 2016, 63.7 percent of eligible Black women voters cast their ballots on Election Day, representing the second largest voting bloc after white women who reported 66.8 percent, according to the Center For American Women and Politics.
However, due to the fact that Black people make up only 13 percent of the total population in the United States, and that Black women make up 13 percent of the female population, the voting numbers show Black women hold a deep dedication to this part of the civic engagement process.
Numbers also point to an earlier essay in the #WhenBlackWomenVote project, noting the many ways Black women engage their communities by encouraging voter registration and participation.
While the focus of voter turnout is lasered on the Black vote and dip in participation during the 2016 election, a number of factors should remain topline, the most important being the rampant voter suppression efforts made locally and nationally. From redlining, to the gutting of the Voting Rights Act, and state and local voter registration laws Black communities face particular challenges in general election and midterm years. Voters in 14 states faced new voting restrictions for the first time during a presidential election in 2016. Those 14 states are: Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
But the numbers may be in our favor on November 3. This year voter turnout is expected to surge, where two-thirds of eligible voters are predicted to vote, a 2019 article by The Atlantic reports.
And according to the Center For American Progress, in the 2018 midterm elections, Black women’s turnout surged 16 percentage points from 41 to 57 percent in the 2018 midterms from that of previous midterm elections. Based on 2008 and 2012 turnout levels, those numbers could signify that Black women’s voter participation could reach a total roughly 11 million votes in 2020.
Younger Black women will also be among the number of eligible voters slated to make up a large part of the expected surge in 2020. Millennials will make up 34.2 percent of eligible voters in 2020. Individuals born after 2000 who are voting age will make up another 3.4 percent. Combined, the number is equal to the share of eligible voters included in the Baby Boomers (28.4 percent) and the Silent and Greatest Generations another 9.4 percent.