Friday, May 10, 2013

Black Voter Participation Rates Outstrip Whites for First Time

Amos Brown
This story reminds me of the race I ran in House District 94 in 2000.  Near the end of the campaign the Republican Party conducted a poll and found out I was dead even with incumbent first term Rep. Jeb Bardon. Frankly, I was skeptical of the poll as the NW Indianapolis district which had a very large percentage of African-American voters who I believed polled more independent than they would vote come Election Day.  Nonetheless, I do remember at the time one extraordinary detail of the poll which came back to haunt me that November.  The pollsters said that African-American voters in HD 94 were more likely to vote than whites who lived in the district.  And in November of 2000, the African-Americans in HD 94 did not like George Bush, turning out in huge numbers.

Apparently the trend the pollsters found in 2000 of black voters voting at higher rates than white voters has spread throughout the country.  Amos Brown, host of WTLC's Afternoons with Amos, reports:
In a stunning confirmation of the power of the African-American vote, the Census Bureau confirmed Wednesday that in the 2012 elections, African-Americans voted at a higher rate than non-Hispanic whites.  In [the presidential election of that year], two-third (66.2%) of eligible Black voters voted...[c]ompared to just 64.1% of eligible non-Hispanic whites.  The 2012 election was the first time African-Americans have voted at a higher rate than whites since the Census Bureau started publishing statistics [on the subject] since 1996.
Brown also reports that Indiana broke that barrier for the first time too, with 68.4% of eligible African-Americans voting while only 59.0% of white, non-Hispanic voters cast ballots.

Brown produces an interesting story which is worth reading. 

While I have no doubt that the trend Brown reports is taking place,  I am skeptical of particular turnout numbers that inevitably are calculated using registration figures.   According to figures I pulled off one source, Indiana has 4,335,069 registered voters out of a population of 6,312,520.  According to census figures 24.5% of people are under 18.  So that means that out of the population of Indiana, only 4,762,952 are people over 18 and eligible to vote.  Doing the math, we have a 91% registration rate in Indiana.  Some counties even report over 100% registration.  That points to the inevitable conclusion that Indiana's voter registration rolls are horribly bloated with names of people who are dead and or have moved and are registered multiple places

I don't trust particular numbers, but I do believe the trend Amos Brown points to is actually happening.  Black voters now outvote white voters and that will undoubtedly change the political landscape.

1 comment:

Unigov said...

I bought my house in mid-2005 and prior to that it had been vacant for a year. Last year I received voter info cards for 4 people who do not live here, and had not lived here since 2004.

That's how clean the voter roles are in Marion County. It's a joke.