The tabulations reported derive from the November Current Population Survey (CPS), the only nationally-representative source of data on the proportion of the population and sub-populations that reported registering to vote and voting. The universe for the CPS is the non-institutionalized civilian population and the November 2006 CPS is based on 153,255 unweighted respondents.
The estimates reported in this fact sheet for the November 2002 election match those reported by the U.S. Census Bureau in their report Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2002, authored by Jennifer Cheeseman Day and Kelly Holder, July 2004, Washington, DC, U.S. Census Bureau.
Beginning in January 2003 the CPS gave respondents the option of reporting more than one race. Since Hispanic identity is not a racial category in the CPS, the new CPS racial classification does not affect the comparability of the Hispanic estimates in the November 2002 and November 2006 CPS. It does, however, affect the comparability of the non-Hispanic racial groups. The November 2006 CPS separately identifies 21 racial identities, including the three largest racial identities: “white alone,” “black alone,” and “Asian alone.”
The first row of Appendix Table 1 reports the unallocated November 2006 racial/ethnic counts for the total population where individuals reporting multiple racial identities are not assigned to a single race classification. The non-Hispanic white alone population and non-Hispanic black alone population are not comparable to the November 2002 non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black populations because they do not include individuals that previously had to choose a single race. To compare changes in registration and voting behavior from 2002 to 2006, this fact sheet tabulated the 2006 non-Hispanic racial groups by re-allocating the respondents reporting multiple racial identities.
Specifically, the 2006 non-Hispanic white population includes non-Hispanics reporting “white alone” and “white and American Indian.” The 2006 non-Hispanic black population includes non-Hispanics reporting “black alone” and any other multiple race classification that includes “black.” The second row of Appendix Table 1 reports the size of the non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black populations utilizing this reallocation of the persons identifying multiple races. These reallocated non-Hispanic populations are the basis for all the 2006 estimates reported herein.