Is Voter Registration Among Latinos, Blacks Up Or Down?

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Has voter registration among Latinos and African-Americans gone up or down since the 2008 election?

Considering how important these two voting blocks will be to the presidential candidates come November, the issue has become a source of debate.

Last week, The Washington Post reported that the number of black and Latino eligible voters is lagging under the headline, “Voter registration down among Hispanics, blacks.” On Monday, the Obama campaign's Director of Constituency Press, Clo Ewing, struck back on the organization's BarackObama.com blog.

“The analysis on which The Post based its mistaken claim is fundamentally flawed in several ways,” Ewing said.

The data cited by The Post is an outdated measure of voter registration and that “registration among Latinos and African Americans has never been higher," Ewing wrote. "There are more Americans of both backgrounds registered to vote today than there were when President Obama was elected.”

In March, The Huffington Post reported on the decline of registered Hispanic voters in 2010 citing a recent report by the William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI). The institute is a non-profit and nonpartisan Latino research and advocacy group, that analyzed voting and registration data gathered by the Census Bureau between 1972 and 2010. Among their findings: “for the second “post-presidential cycle” in a row, Latino voter registration declined nationally” and declined 5 percent during 2009-10.

An absolute conclusion can't be reached, according to Byron Tau of The Politico 44 Blog.

“Each state has its own voter registration rules — it's hard to get a clear national picture," Tau wrote. "Independent data has confirmed that youth voter registration has eroded in key states for Obama — but many states do not necessarily collect the same data for ethnic and racial groups.”

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