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Record Number Turn Out for First Day of Georgia Early Voting

May 3, 2022 by Dan McCue
Record Number Turn Out for First Day of Georgia Early Voting
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during an interview on Oct. 28, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ron Harris, File)

ATLANTA — A record 27,298 Georgians turned out to cast their ballots on the first day of early voting for the 2022 primary election, almost double the number for the June 2020 primary, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced on Tuesday.

The turnout is also three times the number of voters who went to the polls on the first day of early voting for the 2018 primary election.

“Record turnout on the first day of early voting is a testament to an elections system that ensures top-level security and ease of access,” Raffensperger said in a written statement. 

“Georgia voters statewide experienced short or nonexistent lines and a smooth voting process. It remains easy to vote and hard to cheat in Georgia, further disproving the false narrative from [Stacey] Abrams and her allies about the Election Integrity Act of 2021,” he said.

The secretary of state also announced that an additional 2,719 absentee ballots have been returned statewide as well.

For Georgia’s June 2020 primary election, 14,950 individuals cast ballots in person on the first day of early voting. For the 2018 primary, only 9,266 Georgians cast ballots on the first day of early, in-person voting.

In March 2021, the Georgia Legislature passed the Election Integrity Act of 2021, which expanded the number of early voting days to 17, including two mandatory Saturdays of voting and codifying optional Sunday voting into law. 

The Georgia law adds a photo ID requirement for voting absentee by mail, cuts the amount of time people have to request an absentee ballot and limits where drop boxes can be placed and when they can be accessed. It also bans people from handing out food or water to voters waiting in line and allows the Republican-controlled State Elections Board to remove and replace county election officials.

Several lawsuits have been filed to try to roll back the restrictions, including one lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

That suit, filed last year, prompted an angry response from Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. 

At a hastily called press conference during a visit to Savannah, Georgia, Kemp said the federal lawsuit was “legally and constitutionally dead wrong” and a “politically motivated assault on the rule of law and our democracy.”

“If you stand up to the woke mob, if you support election integrity, if you support law enforcement, if you support the Constitution and the rule of law … they are coming to force their agenda on you and your community,” Kemp said.

“And they are not afraid of using the full force of the federal government,” he added.

The Well News reached out to the campaigns of all three gubernatorial candidates — incumbent Kemp, his Donald Trump-backed Republican challenger former U.S. Sen. David Perdue, and Democrat Stacey Abrams, to get their response to the early turnout. This story will be updated as they respond.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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