People lined up earlier this month for early voting outside the Gwinnett County Voter Registrations and Elections Office in Lawrenceville. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Georgia’s voters become more diverse ahead of this year’s election

Georgia’s registered voters became more racially diverse this year, continuing a long-term demographic trend among the electorate.

White voters are still the majority in Georgia, but their collective influence is slowly waning each election year, according to voter registration data from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. Meanwhile, racial minorities are gradually gaining ground.

The latest voting numbers released this week by the state present an updated look at how it has changed in recent years, in terms of race, gender and age. The figures were compiled after the Oct. 9 voter registration deadline and analyzed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The voter registration figures tell a story that’s been unfolding for years: Georgia’s voting population is undergoing a consistent demographic shift that could influence which candidates and political parties win elections.

In the race for governor, about 70 percent of white voters support Republican Brian Kemp, and 92 percent of black voters back Democrat Stacey Abrams, according to an AJC poll conducted this month. Election Day is Nov. 6.

A changing electorate

More Georgians than ever are registered to vote — over 6.9 million out of the state’s total population of 10.4 million.

As the state has steadily grown, so has its number of voters. About 1.2 million more people are registered to vote today than in 2010.

The raw number of voters has increased among all racial groups as they’ve grown with the state. But some groups are increasing faster than others.

African-Americans make up about 30 percent of the state’s active registered voters, about the same percentage as two years ago. Since 2010, the portion of black voters has inched up by about 1 percentage point.

The share of white active voters in Georgia has been decreasing in recent years, from 62 percent in 2010 to 54 percent today.

About 3 percent of the state’s registered voters are Hispanic, 2 percent are Asian-American and 1 percent are American Indian. Roughly 10 percent didn’t list a race on their voter registration forms.

Age of the boomers and seniors

Baby boomers and senior citizens dominate Georgia’s registered voters, giving them an outsized role in deciding the state’s elections.

More than 37 percent of the state’s voters were born before 1964. Those voters include senior citizens, the most dominant demographic age group in Georgia, with people over 65 making up 21 percent of the state’s registered voters.

Registration numbers steadily decline among younger voters.

Voters between the ages of 18 and 24 represent 9 percent of the electorate in Georgia.

Year of the woman?

Women are more likely to be registered to vote in Georgia, and that hasn’t changed in recent years.

Women account for 54 percent of the state’s registered voters, while men make up 46 percent.

They’ll be choosing among more female candidates running for major statewide offices than ever, including Abrams and Sarah Riggs Amico, who is running as a Democrat for lieutenant governor against Republican Geoff Duncan.

The number of women who signed up to run for the state Senate this spring shot up by 40 percent compared with the 2016 election. In the House, about 25 percent more female candidates qualified to run.

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