Home / Dave Brockington / Black Turnout

Black Turnout

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The story has been floating around the past few days, but it’s been confirmed with the release of a report yesterday from the US Census (specifically the Current Population Survey Voting and Registration Supplement).  African Americans voted at a higher rate than the (non-Latino) white population for the first time in 2012. Turnout among the black population was 66.2%, and the non-Latino white population 64.1%.  I’ve skimmed the report, and I’ll read it with greater attention tonight or tomorrow morning, and hope to have some more to say about it.

When we consider all the barriers both attempted and actually erected in the name of suppressing minority turnout fraud prevention,this is pretty remarkable. More so when we consider that for each percentage point increase in a state’s black population, the average wait increased nearly half a minute at the polls; nationally, Latinos and African Americans waited an average of 20.2 minutes, while whites 12.7 minutes.

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  • bexley

    Predicted winger response:

    1. We must do more to suppress non-white voter turnout vote fraud. how do you guys feel about poll taxes?

    2. ACOOOOORN!!!!!!!!

    • JKTHs

      More likely:

      See! We don’t need the Voting Rights Act.

      • Bitter Scribe

        Even more likely: Democrats are the real racists because they pander to blacks with welfare and voting rights and stuff.

        • That and fantasies about how the white share of the electorate will be 2 or 3 points greater in 2016, even though it’s been dropping as a share of the electorate a point or two each election since the 1980’s.

          What’s happening is that minority participation is finally lining up with the minority share of the population.

          Oh, the other thing conservatives are pushing (it’s not “they’re going to,” it’s “they’ve been doing this since the day after the election”): minority turnout will go down when Obama’s not on the ballot. Maybe that will be the case, but minority turnout had shot up in 2004. This is a trend that pre-dates Obama, so there’s not a good reason to think it will go away.

          • See also: You only voted for him because he’s black!

            • Hogan

              You only voted for him because he’s black!

            • FLRealist

              A friend of my husband’s told us we voted for Obama in 2008 to prove we weren’t racists, so it was alright to vote for Romney in 2012 to show white solidarity. He’s not speaking to us yet.

              • joe from Lowell

                He’s not speaking to us yet.

                I envy you. Any pointers?

                • FLRealist

                  Being an outspoken liberal always seems to work for me.

              • Yes, racist African-Americans and white guilt tripping Caucasians put him in the White House. There’s no other reason people would NOT vote for the white codger and his deranged running mate.

              • NonyNony

                He’s not speaking to us yet.

                So everybody wins?

                • NonyNony

                  (Wait – I think that was unintentionally insulting to you. Argh. Edit button – need Edit button…)

              • Well, some of the uglier pro-Hillary people were muttering that same line in the spring of 2008.

  • David Hunt

    It’s bee my impression that the increase in minority turnout was, in part, due to them being pissed off by all the suppression that they came out in record numbers. A “Don’t tell us what we can’t do” effect. I’m just glad they voted.

    I’m not a good indicator of wait times at polls as I voted a week early and specifically chose an early voting location in my county that was more out of the way. My wait time once I walked up to the poll workers’ table was under a minute. There may have been one person in front of me finishing with the poll workers as I walked up. Of course I’m a white guy in the Texas 17th. We sent Bill Flores back to Congress and you have my sincere apologies and condolences for that…

    • tt

      If you read the report, it’s somewhat misleading/imprecise to characterize this as an increase in minority turnout. Black turnout has greatly increased over the last 16 years; Hispanic and Asian turnout has not, and is still much lower than both whites and blacks.

  • That explains a lot of the vote suppression tactics from Republicans, Inc.

  • Black Turnout is spelled Voter Fraud in many a brave h8triot’s Little Book of Truthisms.

    But here:

    More so when we consider that for each percentage point increase in a state’s black population, the average wait increased nearly half a minute at the polls; nationally, Latinos and African Americans waited an average of 20.2 minutes, while whites 12.7 minutes.

    Did the study look at the percentage of people who voted overall in a particular state? I’m wondering if in some instances the longer wait indicates a more politically active population = more people voting. I guess I also wonder if there’s a difference in red states v. blue states.

    • Another Halocene Human

      It’s lack of resources in those communities or sometimes even malicious state laws or malicious local pols failing to have enough voting locations, voting machines or other equipment, and limiting voting hours.

      Very long lines at urban polling places has been the norm for many years. Nobody wants to do a fucking thing about it because suppressing the (progressive) urban vote is a feature not a bug.

      (Deliberately undercounting urban population during the last two Censuses was also deliberate. Also the state efforts to count prisoners as population but ensuring they cannot vote. Boost red districts’ influence, fuck everyone else.)

  • joe from Lowell

    The report doesn’t break down voting rates by income.

    African-Americans have been voting at higher rates than white Americans in the same economic cohort for quite some time. Overall black turnout has been lower than overall white turnout because of the economic differences between the two groups.

    Perhaps this development is the result of the narrowing of the economic gap that Paul Campos was pointing out the other day.

    • Another Halocene Human

      I guess they need a new white racist populist party to energize disappointed whites to vote, since the GOP isn’t doing it for them any more.

    • Another Halocene Human

      Joe,

      I like your comments, but I just read the Campos bit on your recommendation, and the decrease in the wealth gap is paltry at best. If anything, it looks like differences in wealth have frozen in place for 30 years (after the gains of the 1970s), which is why nobody is talking about any progress on this front. There is none. In fact, we know that income has taken a dive for Black households since 2000, the bubble recovery that wasn’t, so while banking has become less and less discriminatory (meaning poor Black and white households are equally victimized, while middle-class Blacks benefited from increased access to credit), probably accounting for some adjustment in household weath, if you looked at income, which is the only important metric for the bottom 40% perhaps 60%, since their net worth is zero if they’re lucky, negative if not, you would see that matters have actually gotten worse.

      Many poor whites still have access to good paying construction trades that have picked up again in the wake of the recession. Meanwhile, Blacks have long relied on government jobs for the ladder from poverty to the middle class (basically due to discrimination by other employers, as well as a keen awareness of the importance of having access to healthcare, pension, and FMLA), and those public sector jobs are being squeezed and squeezed again.

      • joe from Lowell

        the decrease in the wealth gap is paltry at best.

        The shift in voting rates isn’t huge, either.

        If anything, it looks like differences in wealth have frozen in place for 30 years (after the gains of the 1970s), which is why nobody is talking about any progress on this front. There is none.

        Huh? From the post: (In other words, while median family wealth grew by 36% among white families, it increased by 45% and 50% among black and Hispanic families).

        if you looked at income, which is the only important metric for the bottom 40% perhaps 60%, since their net worth is zero if they’re lucky, negative if not, you would see that matters have actually gotten worse.

        Did you not notice that Paul’s evidence involves looking at the median households – that is, those right at the 50% level?

        We don’t have to guess about this based on what feels right. There is actual data provided in that post, and in the study it links to.

  • Steve LaBonne

    White people as a group are too stupid to be allowed to vote. I would be happy to give up my franchise if all of my fellow palefaces were banned from voting as well. In return I’d get to live in a better country.

    Yeah, I’m partly kidding, but only partly.

    • phil

      Americans as a group are too stupid to be allowed to vote.

  • Kathleen

    I’m guessing increased turnout of African American voters in conjunction with an African American (or African African, as some claim) President is the reason for my local media’s obsession with “voter fraud” (one blah woman voted 8 times, supposedly and “she wasn’t the only one”) in my county (Hamilton County in Ohio). I don’t recall them reporting on voting issues in past elections. Any coverage of Ohio’s Rethugs to introduce draconian Voter ID measures were presented (if at all) as a political problem, not a legal problem placed in historical context. One station in particular has been harping on the actions of one or 2 voters unceasingly for 3 months. I refuse to watch them anymore. I’d be interested to see if anyone else has noticed this in their local media coverage.

    • firefall

      Is there any actual evidence of fraud, like say a prosecution? or are they just making this up out of whole cloth?

      • Kathleen

        Here’s a link to one of the stories. In one case, a nun filled out a ballot for a fellow nun who had died prior to the election. In another case a poll worker was accused of voting several times. Out of the original 19 “suspects”, I think they ultimately dismissed all but about 3. I’m not saying some irregularities did not occur. But I’m sure that happens in every election. Why are they bringing it up now? Oh, wait. Most of the folks accused (except the nun) were black. The comments on the station’s web site provides a clue on the desired target demographic for the station. http://www.wcpo.com/dpp/news/region_central_cincinnati/downtown/Poll-worker-accused-of-voter-fraud-in-Hamilton-County-spea

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