ATLANTA — Georgia saw record-breaking turnout on the final day of early voting Friday.
Election officials predicted long lines and wait times, especially after Tropical Storm Zeta knocked out power to several polling places, causing counties to delay or close early voting locations on Thursday.
The Secretary of State’s Office said those power outages caused early voting to be postponed in at least 16 counties, including Douglas, Cobb and Fulton on Thursday. Brad Raffensperger says power crews prioritized early voting sites so that they would be open on Friday, By Friday morning, all voting locations were back open.
Channel 2 anchor Justin Wilfon was in Cobb County, where voters were lined up long after the polls were closed. Voters in line before 7 p.m. were still allowed to cast their votes.
In Dekalb County, Susanne and Marcus Volk were just two of the nearly four million people who voted early in Georgia, a record-breaking number.
“Very easy to get in and vote, and they have a lot of good workers,” Susanne Volk said.
By Friday at 10 p.m., 3.8 million ballots had been cast. In 2016, 2.3 million ballots had been cast by Election Day. That is a 63% increase in total voter turnout from 2016 to 2020.
2.6 million ballots have been cast in-person and 1.19 million were mailed in.
Fulton County chairman Robb Pitts said that because of the huge turnout, crowds on Election Day might be smaller.
“In many, many precincts already 80% of the eligible voters in certain given precincts have already voted, which means that theoretically the number that will come to vote on the 3rd will be decreased," Pitts said.
Raffensperger had a similar message.
“All the voters who have come through and voted early that helps relieve the pressure on Tuesday,” he said.
Raffensperger says says his biggest concern is outstanding absentee ballots. More than 350,000 still haven’t been returned. It’s too late to mail it in, so if you’re still holding onto yours, make sure you take it to a secure drop box before 7 p.m. on election day.
While early voting has ended, the presidential campaigns have not. Both Biden and Trump are planning a last-minute push in Georgia over the weekend.
Trump will campaign in Rome on Sunday. Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris will also be back in Georgia Sunday.
GEORGIA VOTER GUIDE:
- INTERACTIVE MAP: Where can I drop off my absentee ballot in metro Atlanta?
- What To Know About Voting in Person in Georgia
- Amendments and resolutions on Georgia ballot: What do they mean?
- Georgia Voters: What’s on my ballot for the November 2020 election?
- Electoral College: How does it work; what happens if there is a tie?