(The Center Square) — More than a quarter of Georgia’s “active” voters have cast ballots early for Tuesday’s U.S. Senate runoff, state officials said.
More than 1.8 million Georgians have voted, including more than 1.7 million who cast ballots in person. Additionally, the 352,953 Georgians who voted on Friday surpassed the previous one-day record of 252,715 voters for early voting, which the state recorded during the 2016 presidential election.
Republican Herschel Walker takes on Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock. Neither candidate received more than 50% of the vote during the Nov. 8 election, setting up Tuesday’s showdown.
“Georgia has struck the perfect balance between accessibility and security,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said in a statement. “These historic turnout levels emphasize that any lawful voter who wants to cast a ballot can do so easily. Turnout and voter participation is excellent. Our elections division will continue working with county election directors to expand early voting opportunities in the future.”
Separately, Cobb County Superior Court Judge Kellie Hill ordered an extension of the deadline for some county voters to return their absentee ballots following a lawsuit filed by several parties, including the ACLU of Georgia.
As part of the order, the county will accept absentee ballots from residents whose ballot request was accepted by Nov. 26 to be returned to the elections office by Dec. 9 and must be postmarked by Tuesday. These voters can also use a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot.
“This order ensures that affected Cobb voters will be able to make their voices heard during this runoff election,” Rahul Garabadu, senior voting rights attorney at the ACLU of Georgia, said in an announcement. “But it shouldn’t take legal action to ensure that voters can participate in their democracy.”
By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor