Georgia election director explains what you need to know before the big day

ATLANTA — More than 1.8 million people voted early in Georgia.

That's at least 1 million more than the last midterm four years ago.

That’s just early voting -- big numbers are also expected at the polls on Election Day on Tuesday.

Channel 2's Aaron Diamant sat down exclusively with Georgia's election director to ask what voters can expect next week.

Chris Harvey said with an election polling as closely as the Georgia governor’s race, the pressure is on.

“There’s always pressure to do well in an election. There’s always pressure to make sure that everybody who’s eligible to vote gets to vote and gets their vote counted,” he said. “It’s always a challenge to work with 159 counties to pull off an election with three weeks of advance voting, with absentee by mail, with Election Day.”


The race for Georgia’s governor is among the most watched in the nation.

“We may get to 2 million people advance voting in Georgia, which would be, which is unheard of,” he said.

Even through the Republican candidate, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, is officially Georgia’s top election official and Harvey’s boss, Harvey wants voters to know that doesn’t impact how votes are counted.

“The Secretary of State’s office doesn’t count votes, we don’t decide any of that stuff, it’s done at the county level and is sent up to us,” he said.

This election cycle has been tarnished by lawsuits, allegations of voter suppression and questions over the integrity of the system and Georgia’s aging voting machines.

“We focus on the laws, we focus on doing what we do because it’s right, because it’s legal, not because of who it may be perceived as helping or hurting, and that’s what we’ve always done,” he said.

Harvey said he knows we are in a highly polarized political climate.

“We try to the live in the middle of that. We realize there will be people on many sides who agree with some of the stuff we do and don’t agree with some of the stuff we do,” he said. “For the individual voter, they can listen to political messages, you know, we don’t focus on politics here, we focus on the process of voting.”

Harvey told Diamant that despite the volume of early votes cast and absentee ballots requested, his investigators haven't seen a spike in complaint calls from voters. He urges anyone who encounters any problems at the polls on Election Day to call the Secretary of State's office or their county elections office.