A census first: Black voter turnout passes whites

WASHINGTON - New census data show that America's blacks voted in 2012 at higher rates than whites, in a historic first. Despite increasing population, the number of white voters declined for the first time since 1996.

Blacks were the only race or ethnic group to show an increase in voter turnout, most notably in the Midwest and Southeastern U.S. The census analysis is viewed as the best source of government data on turnout by race and ethnicity.

In all, about 66.2 percent of eligible black voters cast ballots in 2012, up from 64.7 percent in 2008. That compares with non-Hispanic white turnout of 64.1 percent, which fell from 66.1 percent.

Latino turnout dipped slightly, from 49.9 percent in 2008 to 48 percent, wh

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