Turnout in Florida by Race/Ethnicity

White voter turnout in Florida from 2012 to 2016 jumped by nearly 4 percentage points, from 73.1% of active voters casting ballots in 2012, to 77.1% of active voters casting ballots in 2016.

Black turnout, which was a major concern for Democrats with President Obama no longer on the ballot, was down by 3.3 percentage points, from 72.3% to 69.0% of active voters.

Hispanic turnout, which saw a dramatic increase from 2012 to 2016 during the early voting period in Florida, was up overall, from 63.1% of active voters casting ballots in 2012, to 68.9% in 2016.

Overall in 2016, Florida’s electorate was less white in 2016 than four years ago.  Whites comprised 68.4% of the electorate in 2012; in 2016, they comprised 66.8% of voters. The difference, not surprisingly, is due to Hispanics making up a greater share of the electorate, from just 12.5% in 2012 to 14.8% in 2016.

It is erroneous to conclude that higher Hispanic turnout in Florida led to greater support for Trump. This is a classic example of an ecological inference fallacy, as others have shown at the precinct level in Miami-Dade County, and as my colleagues and I will be investigating more thoroughly statewide (and by method of vote cast) in the coming days.

Florida’s 2016 General Election Turnout by Party & Race/Ethnicity, by Method of Vote

Roughly 9.59m Floridians turned out to vote in the 2016 General Election, or 74% of the state’s 12.96m active voters.

Of the Floridians who turned out in 2016, 28.4% cast a valid vote-by-mail, 40.4% cast a valid early in-person ballot, and 30.9% voted a valid ballot on Election Day.

But, as in past elections, these figures vary considerably across party and race/ethnicity.

Overall, of the 9.589m votes cast by active voters, more votes were cast by Republicans (38.7%) than Democrats (38.1%) with NPAs comprising another 20.7% of the electorate.

Among the active Democrats who voted in the 2016 GE, 72.3% cast their ballots prior to Election Day, whereas 31.5% of Republicans waited until Election Day.

In raw numbers, this translates into more than 157k Republicans voting on November 8 than Democrats.

Not surprisingly, there’s a similar breakdown across racial/ethnic groups.

Whites made up nearly 67% of those who cast ballots in the 2016 GE, while Hispanics comprised nearly 15% of all voters, and blacks 12.5%.

Nearly 52% of all blacks who voted cast early in-person ballots, and another 20% voted absentee.  Among Hispanics, nearly 45% voted early in-person, and another roughly 27% voted by mail. As such, only 27.5% of blacks and 28.2% of Hispanics who voted cast ballots on Election Day.

Contrast these figures with whites. 32% of whites who voted waited until Election Day to do so; another 37% of ballots cast by whites were early in-person, and the balance of 31% were cast by mail.

So, while minorities disproportionately voted early in-person in Florida, whites cast a greater share of votes by mail and ballots on Election Day.  Although they comprised 66.8% of the electorate, whites cast 72% of all vote-by-mail ballots and 69% of all Election Day ballots.

In the final analysis, raw numbers reveal the real story of the 2016 Presidential election in Florida: over a million white Republicans voted on Election Day, nearly double the number of Democrats who waited until Election Day to cast their ballots.

Exclusive first cut at 2016 Turnout rates in Florida…by Party and Race/Ethnicity

According to the Florida Division of Elections, some 9.58m Floridians turned out to vote in the 2016 General Election, or 74.5% of the “Active” registered voters at the time of the state’s October bookclosing.

After some routine parsing and cleaning (more on that later), I’ve crunched the numbers from the January 10, 2017 statewide voter file and vote history files.

According to these records, some 9.592m registered voters (active & inactive) cast ballots in the 2016 General Election, or 69.98% of the state’s 13.7m registered voters. When limiting votes cast to just those who are considered “Active” by the counties, the total votes cast drops to 9.590m, indicating that nearly 2,600 “inactive” voters cast ballots. (The plurality of these “inactive” voters, incidentally, were Democrats.)

As for turnout among party registrants (limiting the following analysis to “active” voters), 74.4% of the state’s 4.908m Democrats turned out to vote. In contrast, 81.2% of the state’s 4.577m registered Republicans cast ballots. Only 63.3% of the state’s 3.132m No Party Affiliates (NPAs) voted, whereas 70.2% of the 347k Third Party registrants turned out.

With respect to turnout by race/ethnicity, 77.1% of the state’s 8.302m white voters voted. That’s considerably higher than the 68.9% turnout rate of the state’s 2.055m registered Hispanics and the 69.0% turnout rate of the state’s 1.743m registered blacks.

What about race/ethnicity by party?

Among Democrats, 77.5% of the 2.39m white Democrats voted; 70.9% of the 812k Hispanic Democrats voted; and 72.1% of the 1.41m black Democrats voted.

Among Republicans, 82.6% of the 3.814m white Republicans voted; 75.4% of the 519k Hispanic Republicans voted; and 61.2% of the 61.3k black Republicans voted.

Among NPAs, 66.0% of the 1.819m white NPAs voted; 61.9% of the 693k Hispanic NPAs voted; and 54.1% of the 255k black NPAs voted.

In previous posts, I’ve documented extensively the early in-person and vote-by-mail turnout rates by party and race, but until now, we haven’t been able to delve into Election Day turnout.  I’m working on a couple of academic papers on this topic, so I’m not going to go into details here.

But here’s the kicker:

Of the roughly 2.959m voters who cast ballots on Election Day, 39.5% of ballots cast were by Republicans.  Only 34.2% of ballots cast on Election Day were by Democrats. Another 23.4% of Election Day ballots were cast by NPAs, and 2.9% were cast by Third Party registrants.

Say what you will about the many developments in the waning days of the campaign that likely hurt Clinton, her ground game in Florida apparently failed to deliver, as nearly 1.3m active Democrats stayed home.

Now Available for (free) Download: “Race, Shelby County, and the Voter Information Verification Act in North Carolina”

Race, Shelby County, and the Voter Information Verification Act in North Carolina

Florida State University Law Review

Michael C. Herron & Daniel A. Smith

Abstract

Shortly after the Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder struck down section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), the State of North Carolina enacted an omnibus piece of elec-tion-reform legislation known as the Voter Information Verification Act (VIVA). Prior to Shelby, portions of North Carolina were covered jurisdictions per the VRA’s sections 4 and 5—meaning that they had to seek federal preclearance for changes to their election proce-dures—and this motivates our assessment of whether VIVA’s many alterations to North Carolina’s election procedures are race-neutral. We show that in presidential elections in North Carolina black early voters have cast their ballots disproportionately in the first week of early voting, which was eliminated by VIVA; that blacks disproportionately have registered to vote during early voting and in the immediate run-up to Election Day, something VIVA now prohibits; that registered voters in the state who lack two VIVA-acceptable forms of voter identification, driver’s licenses and non-operator identification cards, are disproportionately black; that VIVA’s identification dispensation for voters at least seventy years old disproportionately benefits white registered voters; and, that preregistered sixteen and seventeen year old voters in North Carolina, a category of registrants that VIVA prohibits, are disproportionately black. These results illustrate how VIVA will have a disparate effect on black voters in North Carolina.

Download here: