VRA@50

A new study from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, 50 Years of the Voting Rights Act: The State of Race in Politicslooks at the impact of race in voting since the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

From the Joint Center:

Key findings:

  • The black/white racial gap in voter turnout has decreased dramatically in presidential elections since 1965.  
  • Local election turnout is generally less than half of presidential general election turnout.  As overall turnout declines in local elections, the electorate may become less diverse.
  • Turnout rates among both Asian Americans and Hispanic Americans in presidential elections remain 15 to 20 points below white Americans.
  • Since 1960, the party identification and partisan voting patterns of blacks and whites have become sharply divided.
  • In urban local elections, race is a more decisive factor than income, education, political ideology, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender, and political ideology.  
  • Based on available data from 1972 to 2010, blacks were the least advantaged group in America in terms of policy outcomes.    
  • Since 1965, the number of elected officials of color has grown enormously, but people of color remain underrepresented in elected office.  

Read the study in its entirety here.

Photo: Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

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