Black voters wait longer to cast ballots, discouraging them from voting, according to a study released by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C.
The report, titled ‘Reducing Long Lines to Vote,’ reported African Americans waited an average of 23 minutes to vote compared with 19 minutes for Hispanics, 15 minutes for Asians, 13 minutes for Native Americans and 12 minutes for Whites.
The Joint Center, led by Spencer Overton, a George Washington University law professor, has released its report just prior to the 2016 presidential election and President Barack Obama encouraging African Americans to vote for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s nominee for president.
During the Congressional Black Caucus Dinner Sept. 17 in Washington, D.C., President Obama told the black-tie audience that it would be a personal insult to his legacy if the Black community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in the election.
There is a push to get a strong Black-voter turnout for Clinton. The New York Post released a recent poll showing that a growing number of African Americans prefer Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, to Clinton, but Clinton still holds an overwhelming lead among African American voters, according to a CNN poll that has her at 90%.
Clinton, in 1996, called Black teens super predators in a speech supporting the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. That act, signed by her husband, President Bill Clinton, was a tough-on-crime legislation that sent a lot of Black men to prison. President Clinton also pushed through the North American Free Trade Agreement that has cost Black workers thousands of good-paying jobs.
Until recently, Trump said President Obama was not born in the United States to delegitimize Obama’s presidency.
The Joint Center said one study estimated that long lines deterred at least 730,000 from voting in the 2012 presidential election.
In Florida, a key state in the presidential election, wait times averaged 42 minutes compared with wait times of six minutes in New Jersey.
Florida’s Miami-Dade County had the highest percentage of people of color. In Miami-Dade, 85% of voters had voting wait times that averaged 73 minutes after the polls closed.
Citrus, the Florida county with the lowest percentage of people of color, had no lines when the polls closed, the Joint Center reported.