Who lives? Who dies?

3 mins read

Why do some black counties in Georgia have 20 times as many deaths as nearby white counties? What impact does voter suppression have on the healthcare provide to African Americans and high COVID19 death rates?

  • More than 1,000 new coronavirus cases were diagnosed the day Governor Kemp reopened Georgia” – The Hill
  • Black people represent 32% of the Georgia’s population, but are 83% of those hospitalized with COVID-19” – Business Insider
  • Voter suppression really may have made the difference for Republicans in Georgia” – Vox

How are these headlines related? We analyzed how voter suppression, poor healthcare and the high number of deaths in African American communities in Georgia were all inter-connected and enabled a small group to cling to power.

Connect the dots
Data on the racial composition of counties and the medical facilities including the number of intensive care unit (ICU) beds and ventilators for each was obtained from Living Atlas

A report from the Georgia Department of Public Health provided the number of COVID19 cases and deaths per county. This information was combined with ArcGIS, a mapping tool.

The results are summarized into an easy to understand and share digital story bit.ly/deathinblackandwhite. We used StoryMaps, a free app to create this story with maps, news headlines, images and videos.

Medical facilities
Positive Coronavirus test cases
Data layer overlaid on a map
The three data layers of counties, racial concentrations, positive Coronavirus test results and medical facilities are located were combined on a single map.


  • White counties have ample medical resources and fewer Coronavirus outbreaks as compared to black counties.
  • Predominantly African American counties have many more positive COVID19 cases and far fewer hospital resources.
  • Voter suppression has limited the political power of African Americans in Georgia and the investment made into black counties.

DemLabs continuously tries new free and affordable solutions that could help progressive causes and campaigns. We converted the StoryMap into a GIF that plays automatically in a web browser  with EZ-GIF, a free app. We converted the GIF into a video complete with a soundtrack using the free Lumen5 app and uploaded it to YouTube.

Take away
The truth will set you free“. That’s hard when some people would rather hide it to stay in power.

When voters have no political clout and are prevented from voting, the price they pay is in blood. Use ArcGIS to expose the truth and encourage people to vote.  Learn more here.

Co-Founder, DemLabs

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Democracy Labs is a hub for ongoing technology and creative innovation that serves progressive campaigns and organizations at the national, state, and local levels.

Our focus is on long term, sustainable and affordable solutions. An approach that is longer than an election cycle, and isn’t purely dependant on volunteers, can enable more qualified candidates to run for office and for more issue groups to bring about positive social change.

Democracy Labs is a project of the Tides Advocacy Fund.

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