Republicans, Democrats Launch Broad Push for Early Voting – WSJ – WSJ


Republicans, Democrats Launch Broad Push for Early Voting – WSJ – WSJ

Georgia Democrats on Sunday shuttled churchgoers to early polling sites in predominantly black parts of the state in a bid to win a Republican-held Senate seat.

Both parties are using the early voting period to find people who didn’t participate in the last midterm elections, in 2010, and persuade them to cast ballots. The results so far suggest these efforts are working.

In Georgia and North Carolina, two of more than 30 states that allow voters to cast ballots before Election Day without providing a reason, roughly 21% of those who already have voted show no record of participating in the 2010 midterms, according to data compiled by Michael McDonald, an associate professor at the University of Florida. If the pattern holds, turnout may exceed expectations in the closest races.

“The strongest signal we’re seeing is that in these key Senate battlegrounds, turnout is high,” Mr. McDonald said. “Part of that is due to voter interest in these big races. But part of that is because the campaigns are more motivated to mobilize these people.”

In Georgia and North Carolina, Democrats are making significant efforts to boost turnout among black voters. A steady stream of mostly African-American voters lined up Sunday outside a polling station in the Gallery at South DeKalb, a mall in a majority-black and heavily Democratic county.

With close races for Senate and governor in Georgia, a number of the people at the mall said interest had spiked among their friends and neighbors.

“It’s almost like the same as 2008,” said Shelby Hall, a retiree, referring to President Barack Obama ’s first White House bid.

In the Atlanta suburb of Chamblee, home to larger numbers of conservative voters, Bill Davies joined others in casting ballots. The 57-year-old white Republican who works in heavy equipment sales, said “there is some concern” among his conservative friends that Democrats, more than Republicans, would use early voting to get their supporters to the polls.

via Republicans, Democrats Launch Broad Push for Early Voting – WSJ – WSJ.

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