The poll states that African-Americans saw a high voter participation rate this year, definitely higher than expected by some pundits. While African Americans make up 12 percent of the “eligible electorate,” African-Americans accounted for 13 percent of the total votes, and probably outpaced the turnout rate of white voters.
“Did the turnout rate of blacks exceed that of whites this year for the first time ever? For now, there’s circumstantial evidence but no conclusive proof,” the report noted. “And there’ll be no clear verdict until next spring, when the U.S. Census Bureau publishes findings from its biannual post-election survey on voter turnout.”
The report continued, “the turnout rate among all eligible voters fell by more than 3 percentage points” but also stating that “blacks ‘over-performed’ at the polls. In previous elections, African-Americans had accounted for a smaller share of the election than white voters.
Pew still says there is not enough evidence just yet to conclude that black voter turnout surpassed the rate of white turnout.
“That still leaves unanswered whether the black turnout rate in 2012 surpassed the white turnout rate,” Pew continued. “If so, it would be a notable denouement to the charged debate this year between state GOP leaders who pressed for tougher laws to deter voter fraud and black and other minority group leaders who accused them of trying to suppress the minority vote.”