African-American share of early ballots up 13 percent over 2010

Updated at 6 p.m.: All but final calculations have African-American voters in Georgia providing a larger share – more than 13 percent -- of early ballots in this year’s general election than they did in 2010.

At 33.1 percent of early votes cast, black balloters nearly match their turnout of 2012, when President Barack Obama was up for re-election. Black voters then cast 29.2 percent of early ballots.

White voters, on the other hand, make up a smaller share of early 2014 votes – a 7.4 percent drop – than in 2010. Ballots cast by whites make up 62 percent of the total. They were 67 percent of the early voting electorate in 2010, and comprised 60.5 percent in 2012.

The figures were provided to us by Mark Rountree and Michael Seigle of Landmark Communications, which has done the polling for Channel 2 Action News this season. The firm obtained voter data from Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office, which identified voters by address, and matched them against previous voter lists that included racial identifications.

An early version of this post did not include ballots cast on Friday, the final day of early voting. Those figures have now been added.

Tentatively, the figures are encouraging news for Democrats. But they tell us nothing about whether Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter are getting enough support among white voters – 30 percent is the generally accepted figure – to make a race of it on Tuesday.

Rountree includes this note:

The final overall percentage of African-American voters in the 2008, 2010, 2012 elections consistently fall below the percentage reported on the last day of early voting in each respective election year.

Among white voters, the percentage of early voting vs. overall final voters has been fluid: In one year the percentage increased (2008), in one year it fell below early voting (2010) and in one year it remained the same (2012).

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About the Author

Jim Galloway
Jim Galloway
Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.