Friday, November 4, 2016

IS LOW BLACK EARLY-VOTING TURN OUT A CAUSE FOR CONCERN IN NORTH CAROLINA?



Despite the fact that  early-voting appears to be on pace to set turnout records, there is evidence that one outcome Democrats feared—and that Republicans have engineered—might be coming to pass.

After a years-long fight over voting rights, and last-minute political maneuvering by several counties, the North Carolina data group insightus reports that black turnout in the first week of early voting has been depressed relative to 2012, though it has begun to swing upward in the second week. Any slippage among this group could indicate that the historic gains in black turnout in 2008 and 2012 are in danger...

 The entire state has been dealing with chaos in the wake of the Fourth Circuit Court’s decision to nullify the state’s HB 589 voting law. That decision re-established the full 17-day early-voting period from before the law, but also forced counties to figure out how to provide polling places for an extra week on short notice.

Right after most places established plans for dealing with this bit of chaos, many of the counties with the highest proportions of black voters were also hit by historic flooding from Hurricane Matthew.