Before, during and after the Nov. 8 midterm election in Georgia, Capital B Atlanta will be speaking with Black voters to hear your thoughts and share your stories. From the campaign trail to local events, “What Black Voters Are Saying” wants to document the issues most important to you. Want to share your story? Hit us up at email@example.com
It’s officially Election Day in Georgia, and residents are visiting precincts, making their voices heard at the ballot box.
Over 1 million Georgia voters cast their ballots during the early voting period, which ended on Nov. 4. Before that, Black voters showed up in record numbers during the primaries in May.
Affordable housing, crime, jobs, inflation, and health care — including abortion rights — are just some of the important issues weighing on the minds of Black Georgians.
For this edition of “What Black Voters are Saying,” we’re capturing portraits of and talking to residents across metro Atlanta to learn more about their concerns, hopes, and what is motivating them to vote in 2022.
Here’s what we’re hearing.
Kayla Cooper, 22, recent college graduate, Lawrenceville
“I actually live in Lawrenceville now, but I still use my mom’s address to vote because I feel like I’m connected to this neighborhood, so I want my voice to be heard here. … You should pick a person not because of the party, but because of what they come with.”
“I saw a disturbing clip of Herschel Walker, who is also Black, and I feel like that video made me realize as a community and a culture, we have to do better with our representation and get people in there who are actually for us and want to help Georgia.”
Andrew Bell, 42, entrepreneur, Decatur
“I vote because of my ancestors, and my want to practice my democratic right. The Senate race motivated me to make sure I cast my ballot for the correct person because I’m aware of the issues and I wanted to engage them.”
Brenda McKie, 64, retired, Decatur
“For me, it was all the fighting in Washington. It seems like the Republicans want to take everything, and they think they can get everything. I didn’t like Georgia’s current governor, [Brian] Kemp, and his response to a lot of issues like the pandemic and the abortion issues, and I felt like we needed a change.”
Celia Bell, 57, Decatur
“The reason why I’m voting is to make sure our democracy stays in place and that women have a voice. The overturning of Roe vs. Wade really motivated me in my interest and choice of candidates this election.”
Fayler Woods, 67, retired, Decatur
“I’m hoping that the Democrat wins. I think it’s better for me as a citizen of DeKalb County if they win. I think their platform more or less supports what I need as a Black resident of DeKalb County.”
“I came out to vote today to make sure Herschel Walker doesn’t win. The biggest issues to me is women’s right to abortions. It’s a woman’s right to decide what they do with their body, and the decision should be between the woman, God, and their doctor.”
Maymunah “Luna” Stroud, 27, freelance journalist, Kirkwood
“It’s really important that I express my right to vote in this instance because we really need Stacey [Abrams] and [Raphael] Warnock to win. We need more representation of politics that is not for the status quo and that is going to ask bigger questions about changing things, and not just keeping things the way they are.”
“Voter suppression was a big issue for me this year, and Stacey [Abrams] and her team has done a really good job at stopping that. We need more rights for voters, and that’s a big thing for Georgia. Nationally, we need rights for reproductive people and representation that tries to cultivate a world where people have more autonomy for what they want and not have lawmakers interfere with the way that people want to live their lives.”
Craig Williams, West End
“I live in the West End. It is important for me to vote in every election because it’s my right. When my candidates win today, I expect them to operate with integrity and respect the people.”
Naima Bond, research director, Westside
“I am motivated to vote because of my family. I know what they have been through for my rights. I also vote for Black family rights; I know what they go through while trying to get medical services. As a researcher and doula, I see the difference in care. To me, it comes down to policy, so I vote.”
Charles O’Neal, retired, West End
“I hope that Stacey wins. I hope that she completes the job that Governor Kemp didn’t. I follow the senator’s race. I hope [Warnock] wins and does a better job than what he has been doing, because we are counting on him. I feel that he could do more for our economy.”
Nicole Jones, educator, southwest Atlanta
“I am voting for policy change. As an educator, I am interested in seeing a change for our young people. They deserve to know that we care about them through our votes. Who we put in office directly affects them.”
Latousha Holmes, educator, Beecher Hill
“We need change. We have given Kemp his opportunity, but it is time for reform. I am Abrams/Warnock. I have been a Democrat since I was a little girl. My motivation to vote is me being a Black female, a single mom, but just being Black all together motivates me to vote. I watch the news a lot, but my church has welcomed Stacey and Warnock. I also feel that I am motivated to vote because of the housing crisis and Roe v. Wade. I am pro-Black; we need a change.”
O’Brian Irving, 49, engineer, Westside
“Voting today was quick and easy. I took my time to learn about each candidate to ensure that I was making an informed vote. I have children. I want to be able to explain to them the process of voting and why I voted for who I voted for. I feel that we miss steps in the process when we aren’t informed.”
Joyce Battle, hostess, Westview
“I walked all the way down here to vote, every time there is an election. I vote. I hope that whoever wins comes in and does what they are supposed to do for us. We need a change. I have been following the senator and governor’s race. I am a Democrat. I always vote Democrat.”
This story has been updated.