Tide shifts away from voting by mail in Georgia, elsewhere

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 11:59 AM EDT
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ATLANTA - Ten of millions of people in the United States opted for mail ballots during the pandemic election of 2020. This year, voters in the early primary states are returning in droves to in-person voting.

In Georgia, about 85,000 voters have requested mail ballots for the May 24 primary. That’s a dramatic decrease from the nearly 1 million who cast mail ballots in the state’s 2020 primary at the height of the pandemic. Early in-person voting in the state is shattering records.

The trend away from mailed ballots is seen in Ohio, Indiana and West Virginia, which also have held early primaries.

Through Sunday in Georgia, more than 380,000 people have voted early — a 217% increase from the same point in the early voting period in the 2018 primary election and a 155% increase from the same point in the early voting period in the 2020 primary election.

Georgia has had record early voting turnout since the first day of early voting this year, surging to nearly three times the number on the first day of primary voting in 2018 and double that of 2020, and has continued on that path since.

“The record early voting turnout is a testament to the security of the voting system and the hard work of our county election officials,” said Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger.

Statewide numbers

  • Early in-person: 383,586
  • Absentee: 32,972
  • Republican: 237,031
  • Democrat: 176,592
  • Nonpartisan: 2,935

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