Georgia Tipsheet offers breaking news and analysis on the Peach State’s political, business and media landscape. The Washington Post named it one of the top state blogs in the country in March 2013. More.

Despite predictions of disenfranchisement, black voter participation in GA above 2008 levels

  • Share it.

African American votersMore than a quarter million African American voters in Georgia have already cast ballots for the November elections, the highest participation rate ever recorded by the secretary of state’s office.

According to state elections officials, 780,545 Georgians, of which 33 percent were black, had already voted in the presidential contest as of Friday.

Should the preliminary rate of participation remain steady through the close of polling on November 6, this year’s election will be recorded as the single largest black voter turn out event in state history.

African American participation rose to historic highs in 2008, when Barack Obama first appeared on a national ticket, but still only represented 30 percent of the full electorate.

The surge in black participation comes even as the overall rate of early voting has fallen below 2008 levels–by the time early voting ended in that race, a full 2 million voters had already cast their ballots–and in spite of concern by civil rights groups that the state’s voter identification law could disenfranchise black voters.

A recent study by researchers at the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis warned as many as 73,000 black Georgians under age 30 may be barred from the ballot box next month because of the state’s 2007 law requiring voters present a government-issued identification for their vote to count.

Similarly dire predictions have been made in the years since Georgia first implemented the law, then one the nation’s first, but the state’s new participation data might dull the political argument against the measure.

- James Richardson

  • Pingback: The PJ Tatler » Georgia Early Voting Dispels ID Law Disenfranchisement Predictions

  • Tlaloc

    “Similarly dire predictions have been made in the years since Georgia
    first implemented the law, then one the nation’s first, but the state’s
    new participation data might dull the political argument against the
    measure.”

    why would it. Record turn out in no way means that disenfranchisement didn’t occur. If 260,000 blacks meant to vote but 10,000 were turned away from the polls those ten thousand were still denied their right to vote even though a record 250,000 managed to.

    Short version: you are drawing an invalid conclusion because you used the wrong metric.

  • OrganizationMan

    Black turnout in GA proves voter ID doesn’t suppress votes. How can minority turnout break records every 4 years if there is a law in place that supposedly keeps them from voting?