Blacks are twice as likely now than they were in 2004 to say they had little or no confidence in the voting system
For Democrats like these in tight races, black voter turnout will be crucial on Election Day. But despite a generally buoyant Democratic Party nationally, there are worries among Democratic strategists in some states that blacks may not turn up at the polls in big enough numbers because of disillusionment over past shenanigans.
“This notion that elections are stolen and that elections are rigged is so common in the public sphere that we’re having to go out of our way to counter them this year,” said Donna Brazile, a Democratic strategist.
This will be the first midterm election in which the Democratic Party is mobilizing teams of lawyers and poll watchers, to check for irregularities including suppression of the black vote, in at least a dozen of the closest districts, Ms. Brazile said.
Democrats’ worries are backed up by a Pew Research Center report that found that blacks were twice as likely now than they were in 2004 to say they had little or no confidence in the voting system, rising to 29 percent from 15 percent.
And more than three times as many blacks as whites — 29 percent versus 8 percent — say they do not believe that their vote will be accurately tallied.
Voting experts say the disillusionment is the cumulative effect of election problems in 2000 and 2004, and a reaction to new identification and voter registration laws.
Long lines and shortages of poll workers in lower-income neighborhoods in the 2004 election and widespread reports of fliers with misinformation appearing in minority areas have also had a corrosive effect on confidence, experts say.
Salon Interview: Camille Paglia