Our network

Early Voting in Two Counties Bodes Ill for Democrats | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Early Voting in Two Counties Bodes Ill for Democrats

CHEROKEE COUNTY, GA -- Business has been brisk at this early voter precinct in Cherokee County, a reliably Republican Atlanta suburb. The director of elections says the governor's race between Republican Nathan Deal and Democrat Roy Barnes seems to have captured the imagination of the early-voting electorate.

The votes won't be counted until November of course, but the favorite here is no secret.

"Cherokee County is predominantly a Republican county," said Elections Director Janet Munda. She says early voters in Cherokee County are turning out at about two-thirds the level of early voting in 2008 -- a record year with a presidential election. It will be, she says, a strong turnout.

"We're looking at, I think, pretty much a 50 percent turnout," Munda said. "It's going to be an impressive turnout."

So Cherokee County, a reliably Republican county has had a strong early voting turnout so far this fall. Contrast that with DeKalb county, a Democratic county, which has had a pretty lousy voting turnout this fall.

The elections director in DeKalb, Maxine Daniels, says 4000 voters per day showed up a month before the election in 2008. This year, she tells us only 200 voters per day are showing up in this Democratic stronghold. That's a drop of 95 percent.

"It tells me we've got a lot of work to do," said state Rep. Rashad Taylor (D-Atlanta), a Democratic strategist who doesn't like the early turnout numbers thus far.

"As Democrats, we've got to get the excitement back going on our side of the field," Rep. Taylor said. He predicts early voting will climb in DeKalb and other Democratic areas. Munda also expects early turnout to climb in Cherokee as the election gets closer.