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Black Early Voters in North Suburbs Motivated by Inflation, Crime, Civic Duty

We spoke to residents in Gwinnett and Cobb about why they hit the precincts before Election Day.

Black early voters in Cobb and Gwinnett counties discuss their concerns ahead of the midterm election. (Ben Gray/Associated Press)

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

Georgia voters are making their presence felt at the polls during early voting.

In fact, over 1 million ballots have been cast across the state, roughly 27% of registered voters. Before the early voting period ends and ahead of Election Day, Capital B Atlanta stopped by precincts in Cobb and Gwinnett counties to ask Black voters what’s on their minds as they were casting ballots this week.

What we learned is that from Georgia’s new restrictive voting laws to inflation and crime, residents had a lot to say. For the latest installment in our “What Black Voters are Saying” series, here’s what we heard from voters north of Downtown.

Pamela Charles, 55, South Cobb

“I always vote. From the big elections to the small, local ones. It’s important to me because you truly don’t realize how important your representatives are until you have an issue right at your front door step. I want to make sure that I do my part in ensuring that the person I want to vote for has a fighting chance to win. It’s my civic duty.”

Iris Bradshaw, 51, Mableton

“I was worried about voting this year because of all the stuff I’ve been seeing in the news about the changes to election law. Cobb County was just in the news for removing a ton of students out of the voting registration system for whatever reason they decided. It made me check my own registration because they didn’t even offer some form of response. … I worry that a lot of people have been purged from the voter system, and they probably don’t even know.”

Michael Ervin, 40, South Cobb

“I think it’s been a lot of distractions this year in terms of political propaganda. It’s a way to distract us and overwhelm us from voting about the issues we need to address. These political candidates can tell you everything but their plans to address the cost of living.” 

“You have people who can’t afford to buy a house, living check to check, but all you can see on TV is commercials about who said what and who did what. We need to overcome that at the polls.”

Cara Davis, 22, Lawrenceville

“My biggest concern is housing and cost of living, for sure. I had to move back home with my parents because it’s too expensive for me to live on my own. I can’t afford to buy a house just yet, but I can’t afford rent, either. So many people I know are making the same decision because Atlanta is truly unaffordable.”

Kennedi Browne, 28, Snellville

“I have hope that Stacey Abrams will win this year. We need candidates like her, who really understand the people, in office. At first, I did have my doubts with all the news that’s been going around saying she wasn’t reaching Black people in the ways she did in 2018, but I still have faith that we will show up to the polls to support our own.”

“We have to make sure that there is a change this year. We watched what happens when we continue to let those who don’t care about us control our state politics. Now we have the chance to change that.”

Emma Lee, 65, Snellville

“We need politicians who can address the crime. Young Black people are dying every day in this city. They are dying at school, driving down the street, walking in their neighborhoods, and to these politicians, it’s OK because they are Black. It’s a shame, truly.”

Thomas Greene, 38, Snellville

“I’m voting for everybody Black. How many times in a lifetime can we say we have qualified Black individuals who can run our state? We need people who come from neighborhoods like ours, who went to the schools we went to, who can understand our plight. As long as we get to the polls, I know we will rise up for our people.”