Georgia Sees Record Early Voting Turnout for 2022 Midterms

Georgia Sees Record Early Voting Turnout for 2022 Midterms
A poll worker talks to a voter before they vote on a paper ballot in Georgia. (Brynn Anderson/AP Photo)
Jack Phillips
A relatively high number of Georgia residents have cast their ballots during the state's early voting phase of the 2022 midterm elections, the Secretary of State's office said in a statement.

"Friday’s total marks a 51 percent increase from day five of 2018 midterm Early Voting and is only 18 percent less than the total of day five of Early Voting in the 2020 Presidential election," officials said. "Georgia has had record Early Voting turnout since the first day of Early Voting this year, surging to nearly twice the number on the first day of Early Voting in 2018. "

As of Oct. 21, about 660,000 Georgians have cast ballots during the in-person early voting phase, the office said. Another 68,000 people have cast absentee ballots.

By the same point in the 2018 midterms, about 397,000 in-person ballots had been cast, according to the office.

Last week, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger applauded the relatively high turnout in a statement.

“We’re extremely pleased that so many Georgians are able to cast their votes, in record numbers and without any reports of substantial delays. This is a testament to the hard work of Georgia’s election workers, the professionals who keep our elections convenient and secure,” he said.

Voter Suppression?

A Georgia election official fired back at Democrats' claims that a 2021 law is tantamount to voter suppression, since a record number of Georgians have cast ballots early for the 2022 midterms.

"How many turnout records do we have to break before Stacey Abrams and President Biden apologize to Georgia?" Gabriel Sterling, chief operating officer of the state secretary of state’s office, asked in a statement over the weekend to Fox News, He was referring to criticisms that were levied against voting initiatives enacted last year.

Georgia’s Election Integrity Act of 2021 ushered in reforms that include requiring photo or state-approved identification to vote absentee by mail, and mandate that secure drop boxes be placed inside early voting locations, with constant surveillance, while early voting was expanded across the state.

When it was signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp in March 2021, SB 202 drew praise from backers of elections security upgrades and criticism from those who claimed the bill amounted to voter suppression.

Abrams, a Democrat, repeatedly criticized the law as racist and tantamount to voter suppression. President Joe Biden, meanwhile, has echoed her allegations by calling the legislation "Jim Crow 2.0."

Sterling and Raffensperger both drew criticism from former President Donald Trump for not doing enough to deal with alleged voter fraud in the immediate aftermath of the November 2020 election.

Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.
Jack Phillips is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in New York. He covers breaking news.
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