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The Boston Globe’s Joseph Williams travels to South Boston, Virginia, to report on the “uncertain” turnout among rural black voters. Williams reports , “Though black people make up more than 30 percent of the population of Halifax County, where South Boston is located, voter participation rates are well below the national average, and about 20 percent lower than their urban and suburban counterparts, according to the American National Election Studies, an independent organization that tracks voting trends. The gap is even wider when rural black Southerners are compared with blacks in rural, urban and suburban communities in the North.”
Lower turnout among rural African Americans can be found across the South. “Between 61 and 64 percent of Northern blacks vote, according to the American National Election Studies, but in the South, according to the survey, about 53.8 percent of urban Southerners and 48.2 percent of suburban black residents voted during that period,” Williams reports. “But the rate of rural black Southerners who voted is just 44.1 percent.”