Prior to the move, the one-year-old from California, California, said he was a registered Republican until the early 20’s. But even when his heart changed politically, he says he did not vote normally.
That changed when he came to the East Coast.
“I’m not in California anymore, so I can’t hide behind, ‘Oh, it’s a blue state,'” said Lou, who grew up in Los Angeles. “Now I have to put my words into action.”
“The new residents have played a significant role, not only in our migrant population, but also in our politics and as soon as possible policy,” says NS Ufot, CEO of the Neo Georgia Project, a nonpartisan voter registration group.
“The influx of people coming to our state, not just in this country but from all over the world, is the only kind of underscored Georgia to Georgia, because this (cosmopolitan) melting pot, the gathering place, is in the Deep South.”
Newcomers have been just one part of this equation – and experts say it’s hard to say how much of an impact they have had in turning Georgia upside down.
What experts know is that many new residents are more likely to vote blue.
“We know that the strongest Republican voters are those who have lived in Georgia for more than 20 years,” said Charles Bullock, a professor of political science at the University of Georgia in Athens. “Individuals in Georgia are less likely to be Democrats than they are in less time.”
Who is the newcomer?
It’s hard to find out who the newcomers are, while Bulllock says Georgia’s voter registration forms provide clues.
“We know that one million new voters have been registered since 2001,” Ballock said. “This number does not mean that all new voters were newcomers, but it also includes potential new residents.”
He said about two-thirds of these voters were minorities. Half of them were under the age of 35, Bull added.
“We know that minority voters are more democratic than Republicans and younger voters are more likely to be democratic than Republicans,” he said. “We can say that this kind of triangle, ‘Well, the futures moving here bring not only their furniture, but also their partisans. And many of them are bringing a democratic leaning.’
Most of the newcomers to the New Georgia project are said to be black, UFOT.
There are many black Americans who have returned to the great migration boom – this period occurred during the period around 1920s and 1970s, where many blacks fled the South and fled ethnic violence in search of better job opportunities.
“Black people in Chicago trace their origins to Mississippi, New York to Black people, and New Jersey to Carolina and Georgia,” Ufot said. “Now those people … have returned to the South or have their children, their descendants.”
Others are African and Caribbean immigrants who have recently become U.S. citizens, he said.
“But for clarity, it’s not just black voters,” Ufot said. “We’re also talking about a significant influx of AAPIs (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) and Latinox Georgians.”
With the changes that are taking place, Bullock says the Republican leadership in the state is “beginning to become aware of the challenges they are facing.”
“With smaller voters, these more diverse ethnic voters, warning signs have come out that if Republicans don’t come up with broader and more encircled policies, yes, they’re still controlling the legislature … but their long-term position remains dangerous. Is. “
“There is going to be some serious thinking going on under the leadership of the GOP regarding how they want to present themselves.”
Why they are coming
In his Southern politics course, Bullock said he no longer divides the area between the Deep South and the Rim South (peripheral states) for his students, as he used to.
“Now, what I’m telling my students is that things don’t really get caught up in the party anymore.” “Now what we’re going to talk about in my class is steady south versus growth.”
Georgia falls into the former category – one of the few states along the East Coast, plus Texas – that is increasingly attracting and attracting investment.
“In stable areas of the South, where people are either leaving or (there is) very slow growth, in those areas – like Alabama, Arkansas – like, the Republican Party is still growing, which started the Democratic Party.” , ”Bullock said.
Transplants are coming for all sorts of reasons. Many, like Lu, move on because of job opportunities. But that’s not the only task: the state also offers an attractive housing market and a more affordable lifestyle, in contrast to other populated areas of the country where the cost of living has increased.
Diana Gu, 29, a native of Florida, has settled in the Old Fourth Ward of Atlanta in the heavily blue part of the state – Flton County, after months of wandering around different parts of the country. Botany and Wildlife Research
“I wanted to find a full-time job somewhere affordable,” he said. “Somewhere it was more diverse, and somewhere it felt new, but also homely, I believe. And Atlanta fits into all that.”
The booming population is making a difference.
“If you see the Democrats start coming back, well, Virginia is already a blue state,” Bullock said. “Florida has voted Democrats for president … three of the last seven elections. North Carolina has a Democratic governor.”
They care the most
Ufote said the priorities of newcomers are no different than what many longtime residents have wanted: safe communities, clean air and water, affordable healthcare, access to quality education and reliable transportation.
“I think A, they want things that everyone wants for themselves and their families and B, they’re no longer … interested in the excuse of talking about something here or talking about something below.”
“And so it contributes to pushing towards the accountability of our elected officials.”
“It was a wake-up call,” Guy said.
She estimates she waited in line for about three or four hours to vote back. She voted again during the presidential election, and has already voted for the Senate Senate in January.
The tragic experiences of the past year – everything from the summer racial unrest to the devastating Kovad-19 epidemic – are still fresh in his mind and the issues he is deeply concerned about.
“The first thing on my mind would be police brutality,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever felt like this in the past years and felt like going to a protest and I will never forget what it felt like to be there.”
Helen Butler, executive director of the Georgia Coalition for People’s Agenda, said young voters like Gu are excited about similar issues, working to register and consolidate voters across the state.
Butler, who has been involved in voter registration efforts for more than two decades, looks at voters on the basis of age, population, ethnicity and gender. He said the 18- to 35-year-old group “played a tremendous role in the turnout this time around.”
The public now understands how public policy affects their lives immediately, he said, in everything from criminal justice to health care, to school. He added that they have been empowered by the massive epidemics and demonstrations against the killings by the police.
“So I think it really galvanized them to stay engaged and really helped change the landscape,” he said. “Were there new people involved? Yes, because I know they are new citizens, especially because we do voter registration and naturalization ceremonies, and you see that they are very tempted about being able to exercise their right to vote. For the first time. “
For Lou, the stakes are low.
And a public school student himself, he also worries about having a strong school system, something he said he didn’t trust during the Trump administration.
“It’s like death by a thousand cuts,” he said. “It seems like it doesn’t matter where you go, there’s an important point, and the stakes are always higher.”
He said it was a sense of urgency that led him to the polls.