Here's the article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Precinct closures harm voter turnout in Georgia, AJC analysis finds
The AJC mapped Georgia’s 7 million registered voters and compared how distance to their local precincts increased or decreased from 2012 to 2018. During that time, county election officials shut down 8% of Georgia’s polling places and relocated nearly 40% of the state’s precincts.
Most of the precinct closures and relocations occurred after the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 ended federal oversight of local election decisions under the Voting Rights Act.
The AJC’s analysis, vetted by two nonpartisan statistics experts, showed a clear link between turnout and reduced voting access. The farther voters live from their precincts, the less likely they are to cast a ballot.
Precinct closures and longer distances likely prevented an estimated 54,000 to 85,000 voters from casting ballots on Election Day last year, according to the AJC’s findings.
And the impact was greater on black voters than white ones, the AJC found. Black voters were 20% more likely to miss elections because of long distances.
Without those precinct relocations, overall Election Day turnout in last year’s midterm election likely would have been between 1.2% and 1.8% higher, the AJC estimated
Still, in many ways, voting has never been easier in Georgia.
Georgia leads the nation in automatic voter registration, with more than 350,000 new voters signed up when they obtained their driver’s licenses since last year’s election. In addition, the state provides three weeks of in-person early voting and voting by mail for anyone who requests a ballot.
There are a record 7.4 million registered voters in Georgia, though about 300,000 of them are scheduled to be canceled this month because they’ve moved or haven’t cast a ballot since 2012.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said the convenience of voting resulted in record turnout during last year’s midterm election, with 57% of registered voters participating.https://www.ajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/precinct-closures-harm-voter-turnout-georgia-ajc-analysis-finds/11sVcLyQCHuQRC8qtZ6lYP/