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Early voting in Georgia climbs to record high for midterms

Early voting in Georgia climbs to record high for midterms
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More than 2 million people cast ballots during early voting in Georgia this year, a record high for the state in a midterm election.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp said Monday that Georgians cast 2,071,830 ballots through the last day of early voting. Kemp is the GOP's gubernatorial nominee.

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“In Georgia, it is easy to vote and hard to cheat, and I am incredibly proud of this new record showing strong voter engagement leading up to tomorrow’s election,” Kemp said in a statement. “This milestone is a testament to the hard work of thousands of election officials all across Georgia who are dedicated to secure, accessible, and fair elections for all.”

His office noted that 1,886,905 ballots were cast in-person and another 184,925 were mailed in.

The early voter turnout in Georgia shattered the state's previous record, from 2014, for a midterm election. That year, 945,507 early votes were cast.

Georgia has gained widespread attention because of the state's tight race for governor. A poll released Friday showed Kemp tied with Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams. A RealClearPolitics average of recent polls shows Kemp leading by roughly 3 percentage points.

If elected, Abrams would become the first black female governor in U.S. history.

Kemp attracted notable scrutiny after an October news report said 53,000 voter registration applications, most of them from African-Americans, were on hold because of the state's "exact match" law, which requires information on applications to exactly match information on other government documents.

Other states have recorded high levels of early voter turnout. Figures in Texas surpassed the state's total turnout in the 2014 midterms. As of Friday, early voter turnout in Florida was almost double what it was in 2014, according to media reports.