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2022 midterms: What to watch in Georgia primary today

Published: May. 23, 2022 at 1:45 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. - Georgia takes center stage in Tuesday’s primary elections as Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger try to fight back challengers endorsed by Donald Trump.

Early in-person voting is over, and now polls are open for voting from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

WHERE TO VOTE:

Early voting set a record in Georgia for this primary.

The total in-person turnout was 795,567, including 483,149 Republicans, 368,949 Democrats and 5,303 nonpartisans.

Early in-person turnout numbers through the end of early voting were 254,883, and in 2018, the number was 299,347.

“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. “The incredible turnout we have seen demonstrates once and for all that Georgia’s Election Integrity Act struck a good balance between the guardrails of access and security.”

Two Republican frontrunners are hoping to clinch primary victories in Georgia.

Kemp and former football star Herschel Walker hope to win GOP majorities and clinch nominations for governor and U.S. senator on Tuesday without runoffs.

For Kemp, an outright win would be vindication after months of attacks from former President Donald Trump.

Several of Georgia’s statewide officials are battling to keep their offices in down-ballot primary elections being decided Tuesday.

State Attorney General Chris Carr and Insurance Commissioner John King both face fellow Republicans endorsed by Trump.

Trump is also backing one of four Republicans in the open race for lieutenant governor.

Republican state school Superintendent Richard Woods is being opposed by his predecessor, John Barge.

On the Democratic side, Georgia’s Stacey Abrams has benefitted from being unopposed in the state’s Democratic primary for governor by using the period to spread her message while Republicans have fought.

Even Republicans say Abrams is a “political international rock star with unlimited resources,” although the Abrams campaign says the sour national environment for Democrats is a major hurdle.

Polls so far this year show a close race, with incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp narrowly ahead if he wins Tuesday’s GOP primary.

Abrams’ campaign is sharpening attacks against Kemp.

Democrats also hope that Georgia’s continued growth in nonwhite voters will aid Abrams.

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