More Black Registered Voters for 2014 Shreveport Elections

Shreveport Attorney John Settle
by John Settle

**The newly redistricted Shreveport City Council voter registration number are now officially in the statewide voter computer system. Overall, the new registration numbers show that Shreveport’s black majority voter registration has increased. Total registered voters as of June 16 are 128, 356; the composition is 67,613 or 52.7% black, 55,500 or 43.2% white and 5,243 or 4.1% “other” races.

In 2010 there were 127,248 registered voters with 50.2% black voters, 45.8% white votes and 4% were other races. Thus in 4 years the percentages of black registered voters increased by 2.5% and the percentages of white registered voters declined by 2.6%. Other races has increased by 0.1%. It is significant to note that total Shreveport voter registration only increased by 1108, which reflects Shreveport stagnant growth.

Jeff_EversonIn the 2010 election, Shreveport City Council District B was the so-called “swing district” – – the district that could “swing” the council from being a 4-3 white majority to a 4-3 black majority district. At that time, the black-white registered vote percentage was approximately 51% versus 42%. This district, which encompasses Highlands and portions of downtown and South Highlands, is now a very solid black voter district: 56.9% black voters; 38.6% white voters; and 4.5% other race. 

Most politicians knew that the voters numbers would change substantially in District B, but most were surprised at how dramatic they were. Councilman Jeff Everson, a white Democrat will face a substantial if not monumental challenge in his effort to be re-elected to a second term. Everson has at least one announced black opponent. The only good news for Everson is that adding the Bossier Parish precinct in his district changes the voter composition to 56% black, 39% white and 5% other races.

Big Changes - Construction Sign MessageThe other big change is voter composition was in District E – Southern Hill; currently Ron Webb is completing his second term. District E is now 57.1% white voters and 38.9% black voters and 4% other race. In 2010, District E’s racial composition was 61.4% white, 34.7% black and 3.9% other voters. Despite this change, it is unlikely a black candidate could win this district.

The racial composition of the other districts, – A, C, D, F and G – – did not change substantially Districts A, F and G are solid black; C and D are solid white. It is expected that the winner of those council races will not differ from the racial majorities in those districts.

Of course, its not the number of registered voters that really counts, – – but the number who actually vote. The Tuesday November 4 primary election should have a very high voter turnout – – as turnouts go. The ballot will include U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representative, Shreveport Mayor, Shreveport City Council, Caddo Parish School Board, and Shreveport Marshal, several judicial roles along with and other voter issues. It can be anticipated that there will be a substantial turnout in both the black and white communities for this election, and like it or not, racial composition of the voters will be a very significant factor.

** Lou Gehrig Burnett’s Fax-Net was first to publish many of these statistics reported.