Nov. 8—With control of Congress, Georgia's top statewide offices, the Cobb school board and more on the line, Cobb voters head to the polls on Election Day Tuesday to make their voice heard.
By the end of early voting last week, 181,481 Cobb voters had already cast a ballot in person.
Early in-person voting in Cobb saw record turnout, topping the number seen in the 2018 midterms (111,544) and the 2020 presidential election (174,379).
Cobb elections has accepted 18,706 returned absentee ballots. Together, the roughly 200,000 ballots already cast this cycle represent about 39% of the county's active registered voters.
Voters turned out in full force across the state during the early voting period, with about 2.5 million people voting early in person or by absentee ballot.
The vast majority of those ballots — about 2.3 million — were cast through early voting in person at polling stations. Another 216,067 absentee ballots — more than three-quarters of all absentee ballots requested — were returned during the early voting period.
The statewide early voting numbers are close to the 2.6 million ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
"Georgia voters came out in near presidential-level numbers," said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. "County election directors handled that demand with the utmost professionalism. They navigated a whole host of challenges and executed seamlessly. They deserve our highest praise."
At stake Tuesday are all the top statewide offices in Georgia from governor on down, as well as the seat of Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, facing a challenge from Republican Herschel Walker.
The elections also have major implications for Cobb, with critical school board, county commission and state legislature seats up for election, along with a cityhood referendum in Mableton.
Statewide, Georgia residents will decide a number of major contests. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp is in a rematch with his Democratic 2018 opponent, Stacey Abrams, while Republican state Sen. Burt Jones will face former Democratic attorney general nominee Charlie Bailey in the lieutenant governor's race.
Democrats Bee Nguyen and Jen Jordan, meanwhile, will look to knock off Republican incumbents Brad Raffensperger and Chris Carr for secretary of state and attorney general, respectively. Georgians will also elect commissioners of agriculture, insurance and labor, along with a state school superintendent.
Cobb was split between four congressional districts in the 2020 redistricting cycle. All four races are contested, though none are expected to be competitive, due to partisan gerrymandering — three districts lean strongly Republican, while one leans strongly Democratic.
Voters will elect six state senators and 14 state House representatives to represent Cobb under the Gold Dome.
South Cobb will have its eyes on the Mableton cityhood referendum, which could bring 78,000 people into a new city. The referendum will be the fourth this year after efforts in east Cobb, Lost Mountain, and Vinings failed in May.
On the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, Republican Commissioner JoAnn Birrell will look to secure a fourth term in office against Democrat Christine Triebsch (Commissioner Keli Gambrill is running unopposed for her second term). And in the only countywide office on the ballot this year, Democrat Makia Metzger and Republican Courtney Brubaker will vie to replace retiring Solicitor General Barry Morgan.
Perhaps the marquee local matchup is the race between Republican incumbent and Cobb school board Chairman David Chastain and his Democratic challenger Catherine Pozniak. The hotly contested race in Post 4 could determine whether the school board remains under Republican control. Two other school board posts are also on the ballot, both of them Democratic-leaning.
Finally, a special election is being held in Kennesaw to fill the City Council seat of James "Doc" Eaton, who resigned earlier this year.
Polls are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. To find your polling location, visit the state's My Voter Page at mvp.sos.ga.gov.
Voters can turn in absentee ballots until 7 p.m. Tuesday. Ballots can be hand delivered at the main elections office at 995 Roswell Street.
— Capitol Beat News Service contributed to this report.