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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Election Day has come and gone, and the results are in.
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams conceded Tuesday to incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. Kemp received 53.44% of votes, according to the secretary of state’s office. Abrams came in second with 45.85%. Libertarian candidate Shane Hazel came in a distant third with 0.71% of votes cast.
While the governor’s race has concluded, the battle for the U.S. Senate between Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican nominee Herschel Walker will head to a runoff election on Dec. 6. Warnock received 49.41% of votes cast, versus Walker’s 48.52%. Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver picked up 2.07%. It’s the first U.S. Senate race between two major-party Black candidates in state history, and only the second such race in U.S. history.
Capital B Atlanta stopped by the Atlanta University Center and West End Mall to talk to Black voters about the election results and their outlook ahead of December’s runoff. Abrams’ defeat, the Senate runoff, and voter disenfranchisement were top of mind.
Here’s what they had to say.
Andrew Lane, 23, graduate student, Morehouse College
“I’ve been seeing this viral tweet going around about how the narrative of the entire election was that Black men weren’t voting for Stacey Abrams and how she struggled to get our support. Yet when the true numbers came out, it made me realize just how narratives can get spinned to discourage certain groups of people from voting altogether.”
“Republicans were creating smoke and mirrors to keep us from being focused on actually getting the people for us in office. And, it worked again.”
Mavis Charleston, 68, retired, West End
“We have to make sure we are at the polls on Dec. 6, because we see what the Republican Party is capable of doing when we don’t. Last night, they did a massive sweep across the nation, taking back all of those Democratic controlled seats and states one by one. We just have to come out and vote, no matter what it takes.”
Jessica DuBois, 21, college student, Clark Atlanta University
“It just doesn’t make sense to me, honestly. I thought for sure this time, Stacey [Abrams] was going to win, especially after all the work she did to help Black people.”
“I think this shows how Georgia truly is. I think of Atlanta as being its own state. You have Atlanta, and then you have the rest of Georgia. In the rest of Georgia, a Black woman named Stacey never stood a chance. I guess I just thought Atlanta could make it happen this time.”
Charlie Brooks, 52, entrepreneur, West End
“I’m tired of voting, I can tell you that much. What is actually going to change? Every year is the election of our lives, every election is about us, and we come out to vote in droves and, still, it’s not enough.
“I think, as a community, Black people need to open their eyes and realize that some of these groups who swear they are standing in solidarity with us will get to the ballot and do something completely different than what they claimed.”
Lisa Sexton, 57, bank teller, West End
“We just have to get out and vote again. We still have one opportunity left to make sure the Reverend [Raphael Warnock] gets back into the Senate. Everyone needs to make sure they are at the poll for this runoff. We can’t just lay down and lose when we still have one last chance.”
Charlotte Bynes, 45, retail manager, West End
“At what point does our vote and voice actually matter? I get why our people have stopped participating. We come out, we vote, we do the honest thing, and then they just blatantly show us our voice doesn’t matter, that we are still three-fifths of a person and that we are less than in this state and in this country. What can we do when we are still fighting that battle?”