If a million black Americans who died prematurely had been alive to vote in the 2004 elections, the outcome in several key races would have been very different, a researcher at the University of Michigan and her colleagues found.

In the end it wouldn’t have changed the country’s choice for president, but the additional black votes in several close U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races likely would have created a different balance of power, says Arline Geronimus, research professor at the Institute for Social Research and professor at the School of Public Health.

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