Black voters are requesting absentee ballots at a high rate, creating an upswell that hasn’t happened in the state since Barack Obama‘s 2008 presidential election, state county elections offices said. The reason for the increase may be because of Stacey Abrams and her historic bid for governor.
As the midterm election approaches, African-American voters continue to overwhelmingly show their support for Abrams, who could become the first Black female governor in the nation. Their support for Abrams has grown as the group, who make up nearly 30 percent of Georgia’s electorate, have asked for more absentee ballots. As of now, Black voters are responsible for 41.9 percent of absentee ballot requests, according to the GeorgiaVotes.com website, which compiles data released by the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.
Requests for absentee ballots are reportedly being made at a record 131 percent higher this year than in the 2014 midterm elections, WSB-TV reported. The record is also noteworthy in considering that it’s a year with no presidential election.
“We could actually see Stacey Abrams become governor of Georgia at a time we’re seeing roughly half of the people who have turned in absentee ballots are people of color. That’s a really good sign for Stacey Abrams,” Democratic Strategist Tharon Johnson said.
The record number of absentee ballots makes it clear that Black voters are going all out with exercising their right to vote in the state. Abrams, who will face off against her Republican challenger Brian Kemp next month, may soon be swept to another victory because of—or in large part due to—voters of colors.