A record number of people in Georgia have cast their ballots early in Tuesday’s primaries as several Trump-backed candidates are closely monitored in contests for governor, the senate, secretary of state and more.
More than 600,000 people have voted so far, both in person during the early voting period and by absentee mail, the office of Georgia’s secretary of state Brad Raffensperger said Thursday. Of those more than 600,000, more than 567,000 voted in person and 47,500 voted by ballot.
The number of voters who have voted in person so far represents a 189 percent increase compared to the same point in the early voting period during the 2020 primary, according to Mr Raffensperger’s office. According to a spokesman for Mr. Raffensperger, early state voting ends Friday night at 5pm in some counties and 7pm in others.
Of the more than 600,000 total early votes, about 353,000 were cast by Republicans, about 258,000 by Democrats and more than 4,000 by impartial voters, the bureau said. In a statement, Mr Raffensperger said the high turnout was “a testament to the security of the voting system”.
Mr. Raffensperger, a Republican, faces a primary challenge this year from Representative Jody Hice in the preeminent Secretary of State race in the country. Mr. Hice is backed by former President Donald J. Trump. Mr. Raffensperger, who angered Mr. Trump after rebuffing the former president’s attempts to reverse Georgia’s 2020 election results, has defended the state’s handling of elections against criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. .
Stacey Abrams, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor, has said voter suppression by state officials hampered her failed previous bid for governor in 2018.