Black Vote in Ohio Fueled by Voter-ID Bills:
For African-Americans in Ohio, coming out to vote during this election was personal. Many saw the state’s voter-ID bills as a direct threat to rights denied their ancestors decades earlier. Fueled as much by angst against the ID mandate as enthusiasm for a black president, African-Americans voted at a rate so much higher than 2008 that they may have been the decisive voting bloc.
President Obama captured Ohio, arguably the most important battleground state, thanks to record African-American turnout. The Resurgent Republic, an independent not-for-profit organization that gauges public opinion, pointed out, “If African-American turnout was in line with 2008, Romney would have won Ohio,” according to Politico.
In a way, the Ohio surge represented a movement, shared by blacks in other states, to preserve the vote, a right denied only a few generations ago to grandparents or great-grandparents of many of these voters. In 2008, blacks came out in large numbers during that historic election for a chance to elect the first black president. “This time around, it was widely to protect the vote,” Williams explained. “We know our history. When voter-suppression laws increased, people saw a way to hold on to what we had.”