ATLANTA — Anise Mastin was in and out of a Sandy Springs early voting site in just minutes Friday.
“Well, I thought one last day to early vote. I know I’m planning to vote, I’m thinking, ‘Why not stop by if there’s no line?’ I’m going in because voting is very important,” Mastin said.
A record number of midterm voters have made the same decision.
Midterm elections normally have a lower turnout, but the 2022 Georgia turnout is more like a presidential year, Deputy Secretary of State Gabriel Sterling told Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray.
“We’re going to surpass the presidential numbers from 2016. We’re not going to match 2020 because that was historic, but we’re going to have smashing midterm numbers at the end of the day,” Sterling said.
Total turnout through Thursday was more than 2.2 million Georgians — about 2 million in person and around 200,000 absentee.
Cobb County resident Alyse Martin, 20, is studying at Howard University in Washington, D.C. She requested her absentee ballot in September. Cobb County said it was issued Oct. 11.
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“I still don’t have it, and it’s Friday, and Election Day is on Tuesday,” Martin said.
Cobb County officials acknowledged in a message on their YouTube Channel Thursday that they are getting similar calls about missing absentee ballots.
“Once it goes out in the mail, we really don’t know what the problem might be,” Cobb County election officials said.
The county is encouraging those voters to either show up in person or drop off the ballot in person.
Martin told Gray that neither option was feasible for her.
“I’m fearful that, you know, if I don’t get it in time, it won’t be counted,” Martin said.
A change to Georgia law could speed up the vote counting on Election Day.
All the early votes will now be allowed to be tabulated starting Election Day morning instead of waiting for the polls to close.
“You can early tabulate those votes and that way they can be in the first round of votes uploaded just after seven o’clock,” Sterling said.
State officials told Gray they are projecting and preparing for a heavy day of voting turnout as well — planning for as many as 1.8 million to 2 million Georgians on Election Day.
That means we could see a strong 4 to 4.5 million Georgians participating in this high-profile midterm election.
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