The Case of the Disappearing Black Voterwww.slate.com/blogs/victory_lab/2012/08/30/three_fifths_of_m...Sixty percent of Milwaukee’s black voters have disappeared. Democrats have feared for years that one of the particular challenges of running campaigns in 2012 would be simply locating their voters. The party’s constituencies (young people, immigrants, minorities) tend to be among the most mobile demographic groups....New data from Milwaukee give an indication of how dire the Democrats’ disappearing-voter problem already is. This spring, the League of Young Voters, which was created to mobilize young minority communities, collaborated with the liberal Wisconsin Voices coalition to dispatch teams of young canvassers. Starting in April, they spent eight weeks knocking on 120,882 doors across 208 of Milwaukee’s 317 wards to raise awareness of the gubernatorial recall election scheduled for June. The doors had one thing in common: the voter file said they were all home to a registered voter whom a commercial data vendor had flagged as likely to be African-American.But the voter file represented a fiction, or at least a reality that had rapidly become out of date. During those eight weeks, canvassers were able to successfully find and interact with only 31 percent of their targets. Twice that number were confirmed to no longer live at the address on file — either because a structure was abandoned or condemned, or if a current resident reported that the targeted voter no longer lived there.DB2
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