Georgia elections chief boasts of ‘perfect balance’ amid historic turnout
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger lauded the state’s election system for supporting “historic turnout” during early voting for the Senate runoff race between incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and Republican Herschel Walker.
“Georgia has struck the perfect balance between accessibility and security. These historic turnout levels emphasize that any lawful voter who wants to cast a ballot can do so easily,” Raffensperger said in a new release on Sunday, per CNN.
“Turnout and voter participation is excellent. Our elections division will continue working with county election directors to expand early voting opportunities in the future,” he said.
More than 1.7 million Georgia voters cast their ballots during the state’s early voting period, which closed Friday ahead of the runoff on Tuesday, Dec. 6, according to data from Raffensperger’s office.
Absentee votes bump the total so far up to 1.86 million ballots, representing more than a quarter of Georgia’s active voters (26.6 percent).
“27 counties in Georgia have already had over 30% of their registered voters cast a ballot in the December 6 Runoff Election,” Georgia elections official Gabriel Sterling said on Twitter on Sunday.
Early voting in the runoff broke the state’s record for single-day early voting turnout, with more than 300,000 voting in a single day last week.
The last day of early voting was even bigger, seeing more than 350,000 ballots cast, according to Sterling.
The majority of the ballots so far have come from female Georgia voters, according to the secretary’s office (56 percent female to 48.3 percent male), and turnout has been highest among voters aged 60 to 75.
The closely watched Georgia Senate race was pushed into a runoff after neither Warnock nor Walker got the needed majority of votes.
Democrats have already secured the majority in the Senate; however, a Warnock win could expand their majority to 51 seats.
Betting markets heavily favor Warnock to win on Tuesday.