Bottom line - looks to me like the rate of voting has at least doubled this week, and African American turnout is holding strong. As I discussed here last week after I voted, on Monday, the State of Georgia shifted from "Early/Absentee Voting" to "Advance Voting".
There are two key differences - more below the fold
With "Early/Absentee Voting", which ran from Sept 22 until last Friday, voters filled out a form saying they couldn't make the regular election on Nov 4, and cast their vote technically as an absentee. Lines were huge the whole time, and my wait was 2.5 hours.
Two days ago, on Monday, Georgia shifted from "Early/Absentee" to "Advance" voting, which is equivalent to voting on election day. The big difference here is that now many more polling locations are open for Georgians to vote, and they are listed here. For example, in Dekalb county, which tops all counties for votes cast, there are now 6 locations around the county, instead of only 1 that was available during "Early" voting.
My initial guess was that this would mean the second wave of "Advance" voting would have fewer urban voters (who had greater access to the single early voting site). On second thought, though, with so many more voting locations even in urban locations, there is a greater opportunity to vote for everyone, so perhaps it won't favor one side or the other more now that more locations are open. Of course, when people vote, Democrats win....
I think the pace of voting has picked up quite a bit in Georgia - we just topped 1 million on Monday, but now (as of last night), we have had 1.4 million votes cast. I don't have the historic figures and I wasn't paying attention close enough, but that either means we had 200,000 votes a day on Monday and Tuesday, or 400,000 votes on Tuesday alone! Either way these are astonishing numbers (more than twice the rate of early voting last week).
Using a lower number of 200,000 votes a day for today through Friday (when advance voting ends), that means 2 million votes (out of around 5 million registered voters) will be cast early in Georgia - for an early voter turnout of 40%! (Isn't this higher than what even optimists were predicting?)
Now for the best news of all - even with the higher turnout this week with "Advance" voting, African American turnout is still holding strong at 35.4%. Everyone keeps saying there's no way this number can hold up, but I'm not so sure, especially with an AA community infused with hope, and Republicans on the ropes nationally and in an unexpected fight withJim Martin for US Senate.
It's all ground game now, folks - GOTV!
(And let's get Barack some of this