Requests for mail-in ballots top 1 million in Georgia as early voting begins in Senate runoffs
More than 1 million voters in Georgia have requested mail-in ballots as turnout is expected to explode in next month’s runoff Senate elections.
Data obtained by The Wall Street Journal showed that roughly 1.2 million mail-in ballots have been requested and another 200,000 have already been filled out and returned, suggesting that voters are eager to participate in the runoff contests, which have historically seen lower levels of turnout.
Democrats Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock are hoping to unseat two sitting GOP senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, in next month’s contest after seeing their state go blue for President-elect Joe Biden last month. Biden’s win in the state was a notable victory for Democrats, who haven’t won the state since 1992, and unseating Perdue and Loeffler would swing the balance of the U.S. Senate in favor of Democrats just in time for the incoming Biden administration.
As many as 67 percent of those who requested mail-in ballots for November’s elections in the state have requested them again for January’s runoffs, according to the data obtained by the Journal from U.S. Elections Project.
“It looks like we’re going to have a high-turnout election,” the state’s top elections official, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), told the newspaper. “I would encourage all the candidates to make sure that they run hard, because we don’t have a runoff after the runoff. This is it.”
The race has also been the subject of intense national scrutiny due in part to President Trump’s refusal to concede his 2020 presidential election defeat to Biden. His ongoing legal efforts in Georgia as well as other states has led to some supporters, notably attorney L. Lin Wood, to call for Republicans to boycott the upcoming Senate runoff in protest.
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