Georgia's governor's race seeing record numbers of requests for absentee ballots

ATLANTA — Numbers show requests from African-American voters for absentee ballots are coming in to county elections offices at a rate not seen since Barack Obama was elected president in 2008.

According to the GeorgiaVotes.com website, which compiles data made available by the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, 41.9% of all absentee ballot requests are coming from African-American voters, while 44.7% are coming from white voters.

African-Americans make up roughly 30% of the electorate in Georgia. In all, requests for absentee ballots are running 131% higher than they did for the 2014 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,” said Democratic Strategist Tharon Johnson.


Republican strategist Brian Robinson pointed out how unusual it is to have such a large number of absentee ballot requests in a nonpresidential election year.

“In a midterm election, we normally have a lower turnout by a significant amount than we do during presidential years,” said Robinson. “But so far, in this midterm election, the absentee ballot requests are outperforming even presidential years. So that’s startling and eye-popping, and something we need to dig in on to see what’s going on here.”

The latest campaign filings show that Brian Kemp, Georgia's secretary of state and the Republican nominee for governor, has raised $16.9 million so far while Abrams has raised $16.2 million.

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