Georgia sees surge of absentee ballot requests from black voters: report

Georgia sees surge of absentee ballot requests from black voters: report
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Georgia county elections offices are reportedly seeing requests for absentee ballots from black voters at a rate not seen since Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaA sea change for sexual conduct on campus Anti-wall is not a border policy: How Democrats can sell an immigration plan Obama receives Robert F. Kennedy human rights award MORE’s first presidential election in 2008.

African-American voters, who make up nearly 30 percent of Georgia’s electorate, account for 41.9 percent of the record amount of absentee ballot requests local county elections offices have seen recently, a local CBS affiliate reported.

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Requests for absentee ballots are reportedly running 131 percent higher this year than in the 2014 midterm elections, possibly driven in part by enthusiasm for the candidacy of Stacey Abrams, a former state lawmaker seeking to become the first black woman elected governor in the U.S.

“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,” Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson told WSB-TV.

“That’s a really good sign for Stacey Abrams,” he continued.

Abrams faces off against Republican Brian Kemp, Georgia's secretary of state, on Election Day.

Brian Robinson, the director of communications for Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R), also remarked to the CBS station how unusual it is to see such a large amount of absentee ballot requests ahead of an election in a midterm year. 

“In a midterm election, we normally have a lower turnout by a significant amount than we do during presidential years,” Robinson said. “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.”