January 30, 2023

It’s Time to Turn Out Georgia’s Young Black Vote

3 min read

by Janis Ware

The future of democracy in this country, and Georgia, depends on our 18 to 29-year-old voters.

On Tuesday, Dec. 6, voters in the state of Georgia will once again make their way to the polls to select a senator to help represent the Peach State alongside Senator Jon Ossoff (D) in Washington, D.C.

The midterm election between Democratic Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker that took place a few weeks ago, culminating on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, ended in a runoff. Here we go again! 

In order to have the best turnout possible, Black voters, in particular, (just 1 million of the 3.9 million people that voted, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office) need to vote in full force, and that starts with our youngest voters.

The future of democracy in this country, and more specifically in this state, will have a lot to do with how our 18 to 29-year-old voters contribute.

During the midterm election, 18 to 24-year-olds made up nearly 6% of the votes cast. 18 to 24-year-old voters tallied 231,616 votes, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. That number fell by nearly a full percentage point in the case of the 25 to 29-year-old voter class, which made up 5% of the tally at 197,766 votes). They made up just 5% of the total votes cast, or 197,766 overall votes.

Proverbs 22:6 reads, “Train up the child in the way he should go…” But by the looks of things, the children (or, in this case, the young people) are training the rest of us. 

In comparison, voters ages 70-75 made up 7% of the vote, with 316,372 votes. The 75 to 80-year-olds came in with 227,171 votes or just under 6%, and 80 to 85-year-olds were good for just over 123,000 votes or 3% of the total tally. As a senior citizen and an active voter, I would like to see our numbers dwarfed by our young people. 

Our youngest voters must lead the charge.

The overall voter turnout in Georgia saw just 56.9% of active voters cast their votes. Traditionally a runoff election will see far less of a turnout, but if our young voters take time to get to the polls with the enthusiasm they have for the latest styles, that could change. Go to concerts and restaurants, and commit to investing time to vote for the individuals who will determine the leader who represents Georgia for the next six years.

The elected individual will have a say in whether Medicare and social security will remain in place or if the programs will be cut, adversely affecting many senior citizens around the country. Moreover, altering these programs will have a trickle-down effect on the family unit and the financial positions of families for years to come. 

Proverbs 17:6 reads as follows: “Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.”

The legacy we leave for the Black voting public in this country is the crown to the many, many people before them who fought and died for the right to vote.

Georgia will continue to be a battleground state, and our youngest voters must lead the charge.

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