Ohio’s electorate is not reflective of the state’s voting eligible population, according to a new report by Project Vote. “Ohio Votes: Civic Engagement in the Buckeye State,” written by Benjamin Spears,  examines disparities in registration and voting rates by race/ethnicity, income and age.

Key findings from “Ohio Votes” include:
Key findings from “Ohio Votes” include:

+Ohio’s population became more diverse from 2002 to 2006; in part because of a net decline in the White population and in part because the Latino and Asian populations grew by of 14 and 17 percent, respectively.
+A greater percentage of eligible White and Black Ohioans were registered in 2006 than in 2002.
Ohio’s registration rate disparity between White and Black eligible voters was more pronounced in non-presidential elections, including 2002 and 2006.
+Ohioans were more likely to have voted in the 2006 election than were Americans as a whole.
=Older voters make up a larger share of the electorate than their share of the voting-eligible population merits: 4 of 5 Ohioans over age 30 were registered to vote; less than 3 of 5 Ohioans under 30 were registered.
+The disparity in voting rates between racial and ethnic groups in Ohio widened between 2002 and 2006.

“Ohio Votes” was cited in a news conference by Ohio ACORN, which is launching a voter registration drive. According to Ohio public radio:

ACORN Columbus Chair Donald Coulter says young adults, lower income citizens and people of color are underrepresented in Ohio’s electorate.

“Only 66 percent of Ohioans earning less than $25,000 per year are registered to vote,” Coulter says. “That is compared to 88 percent of Ohioans earning over $100,000 per year.”

Coulter says that while 72 percent of white Ohioans are registered, only 65 percent of blacks are. He called the numbers “troubling disparities.”

Ohio Votes‘s author, Benjamin Spears, said of the campaign, “ACORN is making an important contribution towards closing the registration gaps identified in Ohio Votes,” said Spears. “Ohio Votes” continues Project Vote’s work documenting disparities in the electorate. Earlier reports include “Who Votes in the Bluegrass State,” also by Benjamin Spears, and “Representational Bias in the U.S. Electorate,” by Doug R Hess.