Almost 76,000 voters who did not vote in Georgia’s November elections have registered ahead of the state’s dual Senate runoffs on Jan. 5, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
If those new voters turn out, they could make a sizable difference in a state where the November presidential race was decided by only 12,000 votes.
Fifty-six percent of the new voters are under 35 years old, and none have a previous voting record in the state, according to the AJC, which purchased an updated voter list from Georgia’s Secretary of State. The majority of Georgia’s newest voters are also people of color, despite Georgia being 53% white.
Though some registered ahead of the election on Nov. 3, the did so too late to actually vote last month. The 76,000 new voters registered after the state’s original Oct. 5 deadline but before the Dec. 7 deadline for Georgia’s January runoffs.
The rate of new voter registrations aligns with the state’s growth over the past two years. Georgia has added approximately 34,000 voters a month since October 2018, according to state election data.
Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has warned against out-of-state voters from relocating to Georgia, saying that doing so could lead to a felony conviction.
“It is a felony to vote in Georgia if you are not a resident of Georgia with no intention of leaving and is punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a $100,000 fine,” he said in November.
Georgia’s two Senate runoffs also carry extraordinarily high stakes since they could determine which party controls the chamber for the next two years. If Democrats flip both seats, the party would have control of the House, Senate and the White House. But if Republicans can keep their narrow majority then they could stifle much of President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda.
The runoffs have attracted many Democratic and Republican high-profile politicians, including Biden and President Donald Trump.
The state’s first runoff is between Sen. David Perdue and Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, while the runoff for Georgia’s special senatorial election is between Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democratic Rev. Raphael Warnock.
Early voting opened Dec. 14, and 914,000 Georgians have cast ballots either in person or by mail so far, according to Georgia Secretary of State.