Racially polarized votingBy http://profile.typepad.com/1237764140s22740 // September 9, 2012 in US History
David Perez, an attorney at the Perkins Coie law firm in Seattle, has been working on a problem that impacts the integrity of elections in Washington State. The problem is a pattern that strongly suggests low information voters cast ballots based on racial and ethnic prejudice.
Perez's work extends to the drafting and proposing of legislation in Olympia, but it also includes educating the general public about racially polarized voting. I heard him speak on KUOW last month, and that led me to this article he wrote in The Stranger.
Both the KUOW interview and The Stranger post give a sobering overview of the problem. A high profile example involves the recent primary election for one of the seats on Washington State's Supreme Court. Perez wrote this in The Stranger: "Bruce Danielson raised $0 and didn't campaign. Yet he won 29 counties and over 40 percent of the vote in his race against incumbent State Supreme Court Justice Steve Gonzalez. Something's wrong here." The inference is that voters in the eastern part of Washington were willing to vote for Danielson because he did not have a Latin last name.
The map here is from the Washington Secretary of State's site. By the way, the presentation on that site is really good. For each contest, you can scroll over the counties and get the tally from each.