Thursday, May 13, 2010

Higher black voting rates in 2008 mostly occurred in South, report says

Higher black voting rates in 2008 mostly occurred in South, report says: A sharp rise in African American voting rates in the 2008 presidential election was largely a Southern phenomenon, according to a Census analysis of voting patterns released Wednesday.

The South was the only region in the country where the voting rate among blacks increased sizably from the 2004 election, from 59 percent to 66 percent. The West, Northeast and Midwest had smaller increases in black voting rates, but they did not represent a significant change, the Census said.

The report, an analysis of raw data released last year, offers a more nuanced view of results from the election, in which an African American was on the ballot for president in the general election for the first time.

About 64 percent of voting-age Americans went to the polls. Nationally, 5 million more Americans voted than four years earlier, including 2 million more African Americans and 2 million more Hispanics. But the voting-age population increased by 9 million during that period, so the turnout rate remained roughly the same and the percentage of registered voters decreased slightly.

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