Georgia early voting surpasses 2020 by 20 percent on Saturday, officials say

Georgians are breaking records in early voting with turnout on Saturday, surpassing the 2020 election’s sixth day of early voting by 20 percent.

The 79,682 voters who cast ballots on Saturday also marked a 159 percent increase from the first Saturday of early voting in the 2018 midterm elections, according to the Georgia secretary of state’s office.

“Early Voting is strong because Georgia’s voter registration system is strong,” said Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) in a statement. “Every eligible Georgian who wants to be registered to vote is registered to vote.”

Early voting in Georgia will continue through Election Day on Nov. 8. So far, 816,862 ballots have been cast, including 76,247 absentee ballots.

Georgia’s record midterm election turnout is now within striking distance of the total ballots cast in the 2020 election, a presidential election year, officials noted.

Georgia also smashed early voting on the first day polls opened last week, when 131,318 ballots were cast in-person, far above the 70,849 reported in 2018 and close to the 136,739 mark in 2020.

The record turnout comes after Georgia’s Republican leadership passed a restrictive voting law in the wake of the 2020 election, which former President Trump continues to falsely claim was stolen from him through widespread voter fraud.

While the new law does not appear to have dimmed a wave of record turnout, the demographics of the early voters are unclear. Voting rights activists have warned of a potential disparity in the turnout numbers between white and Black voters.

Some of the most closely watched elections are on the ballot in Georgia this year, including the gubernatorial rematch between Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams as well as the Senate race between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and GOP nominee Herschel Walker.

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