For Immediate Release: Wednesday, September 14, 2022
ANALYSIS: Massive, Democratic Women Wave Building in Georgia as Voters Reject GOP’s Anti-Choice Extremism
Vote-by-mail requests skew even more heavily toward women and voters of color than in 2018, 2020. This surge in Democratic ballot requests shows high enthusiasm, strong rejection of Kemp’s abortion ban
WASHINGTON – Today, NARAL Pro-Choice America released an analysis of mail ballot requests in Georgia, a state with multiple, closely watched races on the ballot this year. The analysis, conducted by TargetSmart, a leading progressive data and polling firm, found that women, people of color and Democrats are outpacing Republicans and key conservative voting blocks in mail ballot requests, an early sign of enthusiasm for Democrats.
TargetSmart’s analysis is based on proprietary data and processes that enable it to match person level demographic characteristics and behavioral predictions to publicly available records of which specific voters have requested a vote-by-mail ballot from their county election authority this year, and which voters requested ballots in past election cycles. This information is regularly published by the Georgia Secretary of State. This is the first analysis to be released about which Georgians are requesting mail ballots.
According to data provided TargetSmart, mail ballot requests to date show that:
- More than 60% of mail ballot requests are from women voters.
- Black voters make up 37% of mail ballot requests to date compared to 26% at this time in 2018 and 32% at this time in 2020. Voters of color overall make up 43% of requests, compared to just 31% of requests at this time in 2018.
- Requests from Black women roughly equal requests of white men (1:1.01). At this point in 2020, white men outnumbered Black women by a factor of 1.37.
- More than 44,000 Black Georgians have requested mail ballots thus far, four times the number of requests at this point in 2018.
- Likely Democrats make up more than 62% of mail ballot requests, compared to this time in 2020 when voters modeled as Democrats made up roughly 48% of requests.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini Timmaraju released the following statement in response:
“Georgia turning blue in 2020 wasn’t just a moment—it’s a movement. Abortion is polling time and again as a key vote driver in elections across the country. And in Georgia, we know exactly where this momentum and enthusiasm will go: saying ‘never again’ to Governor Brian Kemp and his extreme anti-choice, anti-democratic agenda and putting Stacey Abrams and other reproductive freedom champions into office. NARAL and our 80,000 members in the Peach State will be putting it all out on the field from now until Election Day to make sure of it.”
The high number of early mail ballot requests in Georgia – triple the number at this point in 2018 – is particularly notable given voter suppression measures like SB 202, signed by Kemp, which made it more difficult to vote by mail. This Georgia ballot request data echoes recent election results in Kansas, in which voters overwhelmingly rejected an anti-choice constitutional amendment that would have paved the path for a total ban on abortion in the state. Meanwhile, poll after poll has confirmed that abortion is poised to be a key vote driver in elections in red, blue, and purple states.
Electing Stacey Abrams is critical this midterm cycle, so she can be a backstop to extreme anti-choice legislation in the state, such as the ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy that Kemp signed into law in 2019. In January, NARAL announced its endorsement of Abrams in her bid to become Georgia’s next governor. Abrams was the first woman to lead either chamber of the Georgia General Assembly and the first Black woman to lead the state House of Representatives. After becoming the first Black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in the United States and the gross mismanagement of the 2018 election, Abrams launched Fair Fight and other organizations devoted to voting rights, training and hiring young people of color, and tackling social issues at both the state and national level—working to ensure every American has a voice in our election system.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—ending the constitutional right to abortion and opening the door for extremist state lawmakers to put total bans on abortion in place. This decision is already having a devastating impact throughout the country as 14 states, including Georgia, have begun enforcing extreme or total bans on abortion. The people hurt most by these bans and restrictions are those who already face barriers to accessing abortion care—including women; Black, Indigenous, and other people of color; those working to make ends meet; the LGBTQ+ community; immigrants; young people; those living in rural communities; and people with disabilities.
Listening to state leaders like Abrams and recognizing the power and necessity of real on-the-ground investments, NARAL Pro-Choice America launched its Georgia chapter in 2017 to help build the progressive momentum and infrastructure necessary to make Georgia a key battleground state. NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia spent years working alongside other in-state groups to lay the foundation to help flip Georgia blue, mobilizing tens of thousands of voters to turn out for reproductive freedom champions at all levels. In 2017, NARAL Pro-Choice America was one of the first national organizations to endorse and support Stacey Abrams, seeing her leadership as essential to our fight for progress in Georgia and the Southeast region.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its 4 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.