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Voter Registration and Turnout Trends in Metro Atlanta

Posted on: Oct 06, 2016

With Election Day just a month away, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is taking a timely look at voter data from the last three Presidential elections in the 23-county Atlanta region, with statewide comparisons and detail for individual counties.

We crunched the numbers from the Georgia Secretary of State’s office and found some fascinating trends. Highlights are below. The full report can be found at our 33°N blog.

The deadline to register to vote in Georgia is Oct. 11.

Voter turnout has dropped since 2004

In the 2004 election, 79% of registered voters in the 23 county region cast ballots. Turnout fell to 76.5% in 2008 and 73.5% in 2012.

Average turnout from 2004 to 2012 ranged from a high of 82.6 % in Fayette County to a low of 71.9% in Bartow County.

The number of registered voters is down slightly, despite population growth

As of Sept. 1, 2016, the number of registered voters in metro Atlanta stood at 2.9 million. That’s below the 3 million people who registered for the 2012 election – despite voting-age population growth of 232,000 from 2012-2015.

The pool of registered voters is becoming increasingly diverse

The number of registered voters who listed their race and ethnicity as “Hispanic” and “Other” is rising sharply, from 80,230 in 2004 to 197,723 so far in 2016.

However, turnout of Hispanic and “other” voters lags behind that of white and black voters. In 2012, for instance, Hispanic turnout was 63% for women and 55% for men, compared to white turnout of 78% for women and 77% for men.

Women vote more often than men

Women had higher voter turnout than men in 2004, 2008 and 2012. In 2012, for example, 77% of registered women voted, compared to 72% of registered men.

Women have also registered to vote in higher numbers than men, though the gap is closing. In 2004, 1.24 million women in the 23-county region registered to vote, compared to 981,000 men. In 2016, the number of men and women registered to vote is about the same, at 1.49 million.