New registrations of black voters ran more than 25% higher this year than four years ago, and registration is especially high among black women, according to reports. With the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office reporting that nearly 1.4 million residents of Georgia have voted, and more than a third of them being black, African Americans can play a substantial role in helping Sen. Barack Obama’s chances come Election Day.
Reports also indicate that black people make up more than 29% of registered voters in Georgia, a state with a history of civil rights legislation, and one known as one of the meccas of black culture and activism. The state was once thought of as one out of Obama’s reach during his campaigning, but with the surge in African American voters, this notion has changed.
Like several other Senate and House candidates in Ohio, North Carolina, and Connecticut, Republicans in Georgia are finding themselves in a tight spot even when re-election seems like a shoe-in, according reports. Such is seen to be the case in the Congressional race between Democrat Jim Martin, Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, and Independent Allen Buckley.
Early voting for Georgia began Sept. 22, and this week, extra polling stations were opened and polling hours were extended. According to a New York Times article, hundreds of people turned out to vote early in the Senate race between Cleland and Chambliss Tuesday night, and many are expecting those numbers to multiply when it’s to time to cast a vote for the next president, with several pundits saying the numbers could help tip favor toward Sen. Obama.
Long lines are being reported at other Georgia county voting sites, including Cobb, DeKalb, and Fulton County.
Associate Press numbers put McCain still in the lead in Georgia, a state in which Obama had put millions into earlier this year only to see the Republican senator maintain an advantage. With this latest surge of registrations, that might change.