One reason why the Georgians elected Joe Biden as president this year with just under 12,000 votes could be the number of new citizens, especially from Asian countries, who turned up in large numbers for election.

“It was exciting,” said Debashri Sengupta, who was born in India and was voting in Georgia for the first time this year. “We couldn’t believe we had finally voted in a presidential election.”

She is one of 65,000 new immigrants who became U.S. citizens in Georgia since 2017.

Sengupta signed up right after her citizenship ceremony to vote on the League of Women Voters. The group has gained more than 33,000 new immigrant voters in the past three years.

For Sengupta, who waited 14 years to become a citizen and vote, just registering wasn’t enough.

“I thought if I ever get the chance to vote, I’ll make sure that other people vote. Now I am like an evangelist. I help register people to vote. I call my friends and say, “There are these little elections coming up, but your vote is needed. It can make a difference, ”she said.

Sengupta and other immigrants can now point to the slim 12,000 vote lead that Biden exaggerated in Georgia.

She lives in Johns Creek, where Asian Americans are credited with helping to turn a Republican State House district blue in 2018 when Democrat Angelika Kausche – herself an immigrant from Germany – won the seat by just over 300 votes .

“It’s one of the best educated counties in the state, if not the country. It’s also a very wealthy district, ”said Kausche.

A district with very good schools in Georgia would normally be a solid Republican – were it not for the sizeable Asian-American population who got Kausche re-elected this year with a decisive 52% majority.

“This district is trending blue due to demographic change. The Republicans tried to get it back, but they couldn’t, ”said Kausche.

The growing number of immigrants is one of the reasons why Georgia’s electorate has diversified faster than that of other southern states. This emerges from an analysis by the New American Economy, an immigration research group, which shows that the proportion of registered minority voters in Georgia has increased 4.5% over the past decade.

Minorities now make up 42% of the electorate in Georgia, compared to just 31% in North Carolina, a state many pundits viewed as a rocking state, according to New American Economy researcher Andrew Lim.

“North Carolina, touted as a state to see the Democrat at least swing in the presidential election, just didn’t work out,” he said.

According to Lim, Atlanta’s reputation as a business-friendly, diverse place with many universities has drawn more immigrants and minorities to Georgia in recent years – more than any other southern state.

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