ATLANTA — More than 1,000,000 Georgians have headed to the polls to cast their votes early, smashing midterm election records.
Election officials confirmed the milestone was passed on Tuesday afternoon. They say by next weekend, there could be as many as 2,000,000 early votes cast.
Channel 2′s Richard Elliot was at one of the busiest early voting sites in Atlanta on Tuesday: the C.T. Martin Recreation Center on MLK Dr. There were no long lines, but there were a steady stream of voters casting their ballots.
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Many of the early voters say they wanted to escape long lines on Election Day.
Tammy Ezzard drove her 84-year-old mother, Gwendolyn Clay, up from College Park so they could cast their votes. Ezzard said her mother stressed the importance of voting to her from a young age.
“That was a must. My mother, when my brother and I turned 18, you didn’t have a choice. You had to vote,” Clay said.
During a news conference at the State Capitol, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said that 1,000,000 voters is the largest turnout in a non-presidential election that the state has ever seen, and it’s only a little more than a week into the early voting period.
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Interim Deputy Secretary Gabe Sterling said massive campaign advertising by both parties is driving people to the poll.
“What we’re seeing, essentially, is high turnout every single day across all demographics, across the state. There are several counties that have already crossed the threshold of the number of votes cast in the 2018 election,” Sterling said.
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Channel 2 reached out to Raffensperger’s Democratic challenger Bee Nguyen. She released a statement that read, in part, “We should always celebrate record turnout, and it’s clear that Georgians understand this is a consequential election.”
She went on to criticize Georgia’s election integrity law by saying it was predicated on “the big lie” and “conspiracy theories.”
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