More than 1M early votes have been cast in Georgia Senate runoff

More absentee ballots will be cast in this year’s Senate runoff than in any other midterm
Female, Black, older voters casting most ballots in runoff early voting
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 11:19 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 1, 2022 at 3:08 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - More than one million early votes have been cast in Georgia’s nationally watched U.S. senate runoff between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker.

On Thursday, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said the pace far exceeds the number of voters who cast ballots in the runoffs of 2018 and 2016.

“Georgia’s voting system is working well,” Raffensperger said. “While some counties are seeing more voter turnout than they anticipated, most have found a way to manage voter wait-times, and I appreciate the election officials and workers across Georgia who are doing their level-best to accommodate our record turnout.”

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Chief Operating Officer Gabe Sterling predicted more absentee ballots will be cast in this year’s U.S. Senate runoff than any other previous midterm runoff.

Sterling said more than 63,000 absentee ballots have already been cast. The previous record of 84,000 was set in 2018, when current Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was campaigning for his first term. Raffensperger defeated Democrat John Barrow in a Dec. 4, 2018, runoff.

Absentee balloting and early voting thus far has seen Georgia voters turning out at almost a 12% rate, according to the secretary of state’s data hub. Of the state’s 7,006,836 active voters, more than 833,000 have already turned out in a race that will have national political implications ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

Warnock is locked in a virtual dead heat with Walker, a first-time political candidate who was encouraged to enter the race by former President Donald Trump.

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 51-seat majority.

In 2024, Democrats are defending 21 incumbents and two independents who caucus with them, while the GOP is defending only 10 seats.

Early voting runs through Friday, Dec. 2.