The Census Bureau yesterday verified what initial Associated Press data suggested: turnout among black voters for the first time topped that among whites in 2012. That shift may have affected the results in some states — and could affect perceptions of the Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court is currently reviewing.
According to the Bureau's review of the November election, 66.2 percent of registered black voters went to the polls, compared to 64.1 percent of white voters — and only 61.8 percent of voters overall. The election marks the first time that turnout in the African-American community has been higher than in other ethnic groups.
Black turnout was highest in Wisconsin, Mississippi, and North Carolina. The lowest percentages — of eligible black voters, not of voters overall — were in Arizona, Washington, and Arkansas. (Many states have African-American populations too small for the Census Bureau to track; those states are in white in the interactive map below. Otherwise, the darker the color of the state in the map, the higher the turnout.)
Looking at a map of the results in 2012, it's hard to see a strong correlation between that turnout and electoral results. Here's how each state voted, using the traditional red/Republican, blue/Democrat format.