More than 100,000 voters who did not vote in Georgia on Election Day have requested mail-in ballots for the state’s upcoming Senate runoffs, and the sampling of demographics show they probably lean Democratic, a new report from the Peach State revealed.
What are the details?
As of Thursday afternoon, 108,625 Georgians who did not vote in the November election have applied for ballots to vote in the Jan. 5 runoffs, according to data from georgiavotes.com. The tracking site uses publicly available information from the Georgia secretary of state’s website.
The figure, which amounts to 6.3% of all mail-in ballot requests, could be enough to sway results in an election that is expected to be close. Democratic challenger Joe Biden defeated President Trump in the state by a narrow margin of just under 12,000 votes. Both Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler failed to win a 50% majority of the vote, which sent each race to a runoff.
The demographic breakdown of the new runoff applicants skew toward traditionally Democratic voting groups, with non-white voters making up the majority of the sampling. More than 42,000 are white voters while nearly 38,000 are black voters, and the remaining 28,000 classified themselves as Hispanic, Asian, and other.
The demographic breakdown, though perhaps concerning, is certainly not an assurance that Democrats will take the seats due to the fact that Republicans made historic inroads with minority groups during the 2020 election.
The highly anticipated runoff elections are also reportedly drawing completely new Georgia voters into the state’s voter pool. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, nearly 75,000 new voters have registered in the state since the presidential election in November. The news outlet pulled the data from an updated voter registration list purchased from the secretary of state’s office.
The Journal-Constitution noted that the new voters are “overwhelmingly young, with 57% of them under 35 years old. Some are new Georgia residents; others just turned 18.”
It’s worth noting that Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has warned against out-of-state voters temporarily relocating to Georgia to vote in the runoffs. To do so is a felony.
The fact that an increasing number of non-voters are registering ahead of the runoffs doesn’t guarantee that they will actually vote or that turnout will be up overall.
Republican strategist Karl Rove argued recently that the mail-in ballot requests overall are down from what they were for the presidential election.
“In November, 1,740,795 people requested a mail-in ballot — 1,362,369 actually exercised it, voted by mail. So today, the requests are half a million less, a third less than they were for the November election,” he said.
Current figures on georgiavotes.com show that the vote turnout for the runoff elections is down 9% in comparison to where the vote turnout was for the presidential election at this point. Mail-in allot applications are also down 2%.
“And what you also need to remember is 600,000 of the people on the list for mail-in ballots, 600,000 of that 1.7 million are automatically on the list. They are on the list for a long time. They sign up for permanent mail-in ballots, so they’re counted as a request, but we don’t know whether or not they are actually going to vote,” Rove added.