More than half a million Georgians have already voted in the midterms

This election is set to break state turnout records for a midterm
Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 11:36 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Through four days, 518,574 Georgians have cast a ballot in the 2022 midterm election, according to election officials.

This continues to have a record-breaking pace for any midterm in the state’s history.

“We are absolutely on a pace to break all kinds of records for this midterm election,” said Gabriel Sterling, Interim Deputy Secretary of State.

Thursday marks the fourth straight day the state has seen more than 100,000 voters cast ballots.

Sterling said he anticipated a high turnout for this election, but this early push has exceeded his expectation.

“There’s a lot on the line and Georgia is now a competitive state. I mean people now feel that their vote is going to count one way or the other,” said Sterling, in an interview with Atlanta News First on Thursday.

“The last two elections, we saw Stacey Abrams lose by 55 thousand votes. We saw Donald Trump lose by 11,779 votes. Every vote is going to be vital,” Sterling said.

On Thursday, Atlanta News First crews witnessed fast-moving lines at the Smyrna Community Center.

“I think a lot of people are realizing that it is important, and they need to become more active in the voting process,” said Nancy Sprattlin, a Cobb County voter leaving the polls.

Many voters leaving the polls said it was the big races for Senator and Governor that inspired them to come out.

“Well I think people are concerned, the direction of the country, I think that’s why you’re getting a big turnout, in my opinion,” said Wayne Brand, a Cobb County voter.

Others stressed the convenience of early voting.

“Early voting is very popular in Cobb County because everybody here works and so saying that we’re all going to be off on November 8 is not realistic,” said Kristin Lemerman.

Through four days, Sterling said there are no signs of voter suppression.

“Essentially, voter suppression isn’t real,” said Sterling, who earned a name for himself after defending the 2020 election from the state capitol.

“It’s as real as voter fraud is,” Sterling added.

He said that, through four days, there have not been any major issues through the election.

He pointed to “normal election administration issues” like long lines and a couple polling places opening late.

Sterling also said there was a report of an aggressive pole worker and a fake ballot attempted to be cast in Spalding County.

One day this week, county officials were able to recognize an extra ballot was scanned compared to the number printed.

Sterling said 1521 ballots were scanned and 1520 ballots were printed.

This discrepancy tipped off officials and they found and removed the fake ballot, which appears to be printed on notebook paper.

“What that shows everybody and it should instill confidence in everyone is the systems worked, the processes work and that’s what we’re seeing at play in 159 counties in the state,” Sterling said.

Polls are open for early voting Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Many counties also offer voting on Saturday and Sunday.