It’s official and the results are in regarding the U.S. Census Bureau’s evaluation on the demographics of the 2012 election. And for the first time ever and since the data has been taken, blacks outvoted whites. 66% of blacks voted versus 64.1% of whites according to the new Census results issued last week. This was no easy task as the GOP tried everything in their power to dissuade and disenfranchise African Americans from voting by enacting restrictive voter ID laws in over half of the states. As Pennsylvania State Senator Mike Turzai said the goal was to give the win to Mitt Romney. Instead, it backfired and blacks came out in groves to outvote whites and re-elect President Obama to his second term. And black women outvoted all groups according to the Census. Having spoken out on these voter ID laws and disenfranchisement efforts, it is particularly rewarding to feel that all efforts played a part in getting out the African American vote.
According to the report, “besides the record rate that African-Americans voted at, non-whites made up 26.3% of all voters, another all-time high. The share of the non-white population is also expected to rise from 33.9% to 37.8% in 2020 and 54.8% by 2060, according to Census Bureau projections.”
There are several take aways from the results. If the Republican party is to make inroads in the Presidential election of 2016, they need to do some soul searching about their efforts to disenfranchise minorities. The results are in and cannot be ignored. Reports have indicated that Mitt Romney was relying on the 2004 data regarding the turnout of blacks. That data is now obsolete. This is a new day for America. Asians and Hispanics also voted in large numbers and overwhelmingly for President Obama.
African Americans must continue to fight the oppressive voter ID laws. In several states such as Pennsylvania, the new laws although passed in 2012 will not go into effect until 2014 due to court litigation. The fight is not over on these voter ID laws. And many minorities were disenfranchised due to the new voter ID laws, long waiting lines, provisional ballots and confusion concerning the requirements for voting. Everyone who cares about democracy must continue to fight any laws and restrictions that make voting difficult for segments of our population. The fight is not over on these voting laws despite the outcome of the 2012 election.
African Americans must continue to vote at this same pace for the 2014 election. Of course, that’s much easier said than done. Organizing groups must educate and persuade minorities that the 2014 Midterm election is important for the legacy of President Obama. In order to complete his work, there must be folks in Congress and the U.S. Senate who can vote for his priorities. Despite all of the obstructionism of the GOP controlled U.S. Congress, there has been major legislation passed but much more can still be done—depending on the 2014 election outcome. The education process to persuade voters to come out again in 2014 begins in earnest now.
The link to the U.S. Census Bureau report can be found here.