The Racial Gap in Time Spent Waiting to Vote

Ballot-boxIn the past two presidential elections, Black voters turned out in large numbers to support the candidacy of Barack Obama. Previously, Black voter participation rates traditionally lagged those of Whites. Many political observers wonder if Black voter participation rates will decline when Obama’s presidency is over.

New research by Charles Stewart III, the Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, finds that one factor that may serve to discourage Black voter participation is longer waiting times at the polls. In 2012, the average voter waited 13.3 minutes to vote. About one in every eight voters stood in line for 30 minutes or more and 4 percent of all voters waited more than an hour. Professor Stewart’s research found that the longest waiting times were in heavily populated urban areas, where there are large numbers of Black voters. His data shows that on average, Blacks waited longer to vote than Whites.

The article, “Waiting to Vote in 2012,” may be downloaded here.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Online Articles That May Be of Interest to JBHE Readers

Each week, JBHE will provide links to online articles that may be of interest to our readers. Here are this week’s selections.

In Memoriam: Roscoe Hightower Jr., 1966-2024

Dr. Hightower was a professor of marketing at his alma mater, historically Black Florida A&M University, where he taught for over two decades. He also served the university as the Centennial Eminent Scholar Chair and Professor of Marketing and Facility Management.

Higher Education Gifts or Grants of Interest to African Americans

Here is this week’s news of grants or gifts to historically Black colleges and universities or for programs of particular interest to African Americans in higher education.

In Memoriam: O. Jerome Green, 1954-2024

President of historically Black Shorter College O. Jerome Green passed way unexpectedly on April 8. Since he became president in 2012, the college has experienced record-breaking enrollment and graduation rates, created new academic programs, and established the STEM Center for Academic Excellence.

Featured Jobs