White voters are no longer a majority in Gwinnett County

Newly naturalized citizens including Perla Freed (foreground), originally from Honduras, give the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America during their naturalization ceremony at the USCIS Atlanta Field Office in June. Latino voter registration in Georgia surged nearly 20 percent in recent months as Donald Trump captured the Republican presidential nomination, statistics from the Secretary of State's Office show. Nearly one out of every four of those new voters is in Gwinnett County, the epicenter of the Latino population in metro Atlanta. Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

Newly naturalized citizens including Perla Freed (foreground), originally from Honduras, give the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America during their naturalization ceremony at the USCIS Atlanta Field Office in June. Latino voter registration in Georgia surged nearly 20 percent in recent months as Donald Trump captured the Republican presidential nomination, statistics from the Secretary of State’s Office show. Nearly one out of every four of those new voters is in Gwinnett County, the epicenter of the Latino population in metro Atlanta. Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

Enough about that debate: One of our many number-crunching friends passes along some inevitable but still note-worthy news.

For the first time in modern state history, Gwinnett County – one of the richest veins of GOP ballots in the state – no longer has a majority white voting population.

According to the latest registration data from Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office, white non-Hispanic voters in Gwinnett number 202,556 out of a total 406,726.

That’s 49.8 percent. Last month’s data had put the white voter population at 50.3 percent. Since the November 2012 presidential election, white voter registration has dropped by about 16,000 in Gwinnett, while African-American registration is up by nearly 10,000 over the same period.

The current racial/ethnic breakdown for Gwinnett in advance of the 2016 presidential contest:

— African-Americans: 105,740 voters, or 26 percent;

— Hispanics: 24,156 voters, or 5.9 percent;

— Asians: 23,607 voters, or 5.8 percent;

— Others and unknown: 50,072 voters, or 12.3 percent.

Such slight shifts, while ground-breaking, are unlikely to translate into radical outcomes in November – but that will depend on the intensity of campaigning in the final weeks.  Obama won 45 percent of the Gwinnett vote in both 2008 and 2012.

Our number-crunching friend posits that some black population may be shifting out of DeKalb County and into Gwinnett.

In November 2012, DeKalb had 228,721 active registered African-American voters. It is now down to 209,949. White voter registration hasn’t dropped nearly as much – drifting from 144,050 in 2012 to 135,104 today.

In terms of registration, DeKalb actually has a slightly lower percentage of black voters today, 52.9 percent, than in 2006 – when it was 53.5 percent.


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