Poll: Lower Confidence Among Black Voters On Certain Voting Matters

Sharpstown resident Jasmine Prater
A new KUHF/KHOU poll shows that black voters aren't as confident as other voters that their vote will be counted accurately. KUHF's Shomial Ahmad went out to talk to African-American voters.

It wasn't the exact question asked in the poll, but Sharpstown resident Jasmine Prater had a quick answer to my question.

Do you feel like your vote will be counted accurately?

"Yes."

"Definitely?"

"Yes."

Prater's sentiments echoed what a lot of African-Americans think.  About 55 percent of those contacted in the KUHF/KHOU poll were either very confident or confident that their votes would be counted accurately.

At polling places and bus stations, others shared their opinions:

"Yes, I feel it should.  I'm not superstitious about anything, so I feel like the vote should be counted."

"No, that's the reason why I didn't register.  I've been hearing a lot of stuff in the news about votes not being counted and stuff like that."

"Everybody I know is positive.  It's go-go get it.  Thumbs up."

That was Daphne Priscilla Brown Jack from southwest Houston. Bruce Sanders who lives in north Houston.  And Henry C. Dobbins. Dobbins had an immediate theory on why some voters might feel like their ballot won't be counted right.

Henry
Henry C. Dobbins

"On ID, the identification deal. It discouraged a lot."

But Dobbins is not discouraged, even though he thinks the voter ID legislation is in effect, which it's not in Texas. A federal court put the law on hold in late August. 

Rice University Political Science Professor Bob Stein, who conducted the poll, says confusion and possible anger over voter ID could be fueling the lower level of assurance.

"African-Americans here are actually considerably less confident that their vote will be counted accurately than other African-Americans throughout the country, with the exception of states who've had this controversy over photo IDs."

Stein says the difference between the KUHF/KHOU poll and national polls is the level of confidence African-American voters expressed. While nationally 40-45 percent of black voters are very confident that their vote will be counted accurately. Stein says the numbers are different for those voters polled in Harris County.

"Among African-Americans only about 36% are very confident, compared to 50% white and 44% Hispanic."

Stein says these numbers are cause for concern. D.Z. Cofield, senior pastor of Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church in the third ward, say many people he's around have other concerns.

"Just not seeing a correlation between how they vote and a change in how they live. And so, if I have voted and there's no substantive change, then why vote."

Cofield says that those people have concerns not whether or not their votes are counted accurately but whether or not they count—or matter.

 

African-Americans are significantly less confident that their vote will be accurately counted than either Anglo or Hispanic voters.

 

With which ethnic or racial group do you identify yourself?

Total

White or Anglo

Black or African-American

Hispanic

American Indian

Asian

Other

Don't Know (DON'T READ)

 

Very confident

Count

288

63

34

0

9

3

1

398

 

50.3%

35.8%

44.2%

0.0%

45.0%

25.0%

33.3%

46.1%

Confident

Count

141

34

21

1

6

3

0

206

 

24.6%

19.3%

27.3%

50.0%

30.0%

25.0%

0.0%

23.9%

Somewhat confident

Count

90

50

15

1

2

3

1

162

 

15.7%

28.4%

19.5%

50.0%

10.0%

25.0%

33.3%

18.8%

Not confident

Count

29

22

5

0

2

2

1

61

 

5.1%

12.5%

6.5%

0.0%

10.0%

16.7%

33.3%

7.1%

Unsure

Count

25

7

2

0

1

1

0

36

 

4.4%

4.0%

2.6%

0.0%

5.0%

8.3%

0.0%

4.2%

Total

Count

573

176

77

2

20

12

3

863

 

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

Tonight on KHOU 11 News find out how some voters are confused about what to do over Metro's referendum.

For election coverage, visit kuhf.org/election2012.