Black voter turnout is up in Georgia as Stacey Abrams, White House double down on voter suppression claims



Despite Stacey Abrams doubling down on voter suppression claims earlier this week, numbers from early voting show that a higher share of Black voters in Georgia are turning out in the midterm elections than in the 2020 election.

According to figures from the United States Election Project, Black voters make up 30% of early votes cast so far — up three percentage points from 27% in the 2020 election — while the share of the White vote in Georgia has remained steady at 57% in both elections.

Peach State voters have cast 1.4 million early votes so far, almost double the amount of the votes cast at this point in the 2018 midterms.   

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Stacey Abrams, Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Georgia will face Georgia Governor Brian Kemp in the general election on Nov. 8, 2022. 
(Dustin Chambers/Bloomberg)

Abrams, the Democratic nominee in Georgia’s race for governor, repeated warnings of voter suppression in a press conference earlier this week, despite Georgia smashing early voting records from past midterm elections. 

Democrats have decried Georgia’s Republican-passed Election Integrity Act as “Jim Crow 2.0” but in the midst of record-breaking turnout in Georgia, Abrams and the White House now say it is possible for “voter suppression” and “high turnout” to exist at the same time. 

As one of the staunchest voting blocs of the Democratic Party, political commentators look to the Black demographic for clues on the direction of voting in Georgia

Dr. Michael McDonald of the United States Election Project says these increases so far over the 2020 benchmark are “probably good news for Democratic candidates, especially for [Raphael] Warnock.”

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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that "voter suppression" and "high turnout" can take place at the same time in a Tuesday press conference. 

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that “voter suppression” and “high turnout” can take place at the same time in a Tuesday press conference. 
(Susan Walsh)

However, Democrats in Georgia could be in the “danger zone” if they start to see these shares decline as election day nears.

Looking at early voting behavior, there is typically an early rush when polls open that drops off pretty quickly, but that has not happened in Georgia, where voter turnout has continued to increase. The situation is “very unusual,” said McDonald.

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Georgia is one of the few states that includes race in its voter profiles along with North Carolina, South Carolina and Louisiana.