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Voter registrations rise in Georgia before major 2020 elections

03/02/2020 — Sandy Springs, Georgia — Stickers are available for early voters during the presidential primary election at Sandy Springs library, Monday, March 2, 2020. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
03/02/2020 — Sandy Springs, Georgia — Stickers are available for early voters during the presidential primary election at Sandy Springs library, Monday, March 2, 2020. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

The number of registered voters in Georgia is approaching an all-time high, with over 7.4 million people signed up as the state’s primary election runoff approaches.

The state’s latest list of voters shows steady growth in a presidential election year when turnout is expected to exceed 5 million in November.

Georgia is on track to reach a record number of voters within days, passing a high-water mark reached last fall before state election officials canceled nearly 287,000 registrations in December. Registrations were canceled because individuals had either moved away or stopped participating in elections for several years.

The state’s expanding electorate could make Georgia even more competitive in November’s election, with major races for president and the U.S. Senate on the ballot.

Voters under 25 years old make up the fastest-growing age group, increasing by 4% since the May 11 voter registration deadline for the state’s primary election last month. Meanwhile, the number of voters over 65 decreased slightly.

The coronavirus pandemic didn’t appear to slow voter registration rates in Georgia.

There are nearly 70,000 more voters in Georgia today than there were in May. Election officials processed an average of over 1,800 new registrations a day, which roughly aligns with registration rates in advance of previous elections this year and in 2016.

About 53% of the state’s voters identified themselves as white when registering, and 30% said they were Black. The race of 10% of voters was unknown. Smaller numbers of voters listed their races as Hispanic, Asian, American Indian or other.

The voter registration deadline for the Aug. 11 runoff has already passed, but new voters can sign up for November’s election until Oct. 5.

Georgia’s automatic voter registration program allows eligible residents to register when they obtain their driver’s license. Voters can also sign up online through the secretary of state’s website, or they can mail paper registration forms.