‘Astounding’ early voter turnout breaks local records

Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 1:57 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Election officials in Richmond County say there was record turnout Monday for early voting in Georgia’s Senate runoff.

So far, almost 11,000 people have cast their ballots in the past two days.

Across the Peach State, 503,792 people have cast ballots, either through absentee voting or early voting, according to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the state’s elections chief.

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“Voters broke the all-time daily turnout record for in-person early voting on Monday,” he said Tuesday, noting an “astounding” 301,545 voters Monday.

“Monday’s total is well above previous records of 233,252 voters processed on the final day of early voting in the 2018 general election, and 252,715 voting on the highest day of early voting in 2016,” he said.

Raffensperger says Georgia’s active voter list stands just over 7 million.

He acknowledged long voting lines have been reported in some metro areas.

“However, many metro area polling locations experienced little to no wait times,” Raffensperger said.

At a Columbia County voting location on Tuesday, the line was so long that people at the back couldn’t see the door. However, the line at the Augusta-Richmond County Municipal Building snaked out the door but appeared shorter than it was on Sunday, when the wait time was 20 minutes.

This was the early voting line on Nov. 29, 2022, at the Augusta-Richmond County Municipal...
This was the early voting line on Nov. 29, 2022, at the Augusta-Richmond County Municipal Building.(WRDW)

The last day for early voting is Friday.

The runoff pits incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock against Republican challenger Herschel Walker. In the general election earlier this month, neither managed to get the required threshold of votes to claim the seat, thanks to a third-party candidate also on the ballot.

Georgia’s Senate runoff has huge implications for both next year and the 2024 presidential election year. If Walker wins, the Senate will remain split at 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, with Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat, continuing to cast tie-breaking voters. If Warnock wins, Senate Democrats will have a clear 51-seat majority.