ATLANTA – Georgia will be under the microscope for the midterms after being the center of attention during the 2020 presidential election. That contest was marked with controversy as many, including former president Donald Trump, claimed the election was stolen.
There are several tight tickets coming Tuesday, including the race for governor and U.S. Senate.
Now, Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger is telling voters to cast their ballots with confidence, even as Georgia’s record-breaking early voting turnout continues. Georgia voters will exceed 2.4 million votes cast by Friday evening.
As of day 18 of Early Voting in 2018, only 1.6 million voters had cast a ballot.
Friday is the last day of Early Voting, and we anticipate longer lines this evening. To find Early Voting locations and hours in your county, visit the Secretary of State’s My Voter Page.
Raffensperger, a Republican who stood behind the 2020 election results despite getting calls to overturn the results from former President Trump, told The Center for Election Innovation & Research that he is committed to fair results again, knowing the Peach State will be under a lot of scrutiny.
“We’re looking forward to people accepting the results, and half those people will be disappointed, the other half will be happy, but we can accept the results and move forward,” he said Thursday. “That’s good for everyone. I think it’s good for our society.”
Raffensperger oversees the state’s elections. He’s also running for re-election himself. Georgia has high-profile races including the US Senate race between Democratic Incumbent Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker. That could swing the balance of power in Washington.
Republican Gov. Brian Kemp hopes to keep his seat in a rematch with Democrat Stacey Abrams.
“I lead by example, and I’ve made my pledge, but also both the gubernatorial candidates were asked would they accept the results, and they both said yes,” Raffensperger said. “So I think that’s good, it starts at the top.”
You’ll remember the 2020 election which triggered three recounts in the state of Georgia. President Joe Biden narrowly edged out former President Donald Trump by less than 12,000 votes.
And the 2018 gubernatorial election was the closest in state history, and candidate Stacey Abrams at first did not accept the results of that election. She later said she would not contest the results, as she did not see a way she could close the gap, despite having doubts about the validity of the election.
This year, Georgia lawmakers passed the Election Integrity Act, which republican supporters contend makes voting safer. Some Democrats say it limits voting access for minorities. Raffensperger agrees more needs to be done, but he affirms he knows this coming election will be safe.
“In Georgia so far, we’ve already exceeded 2.2 million people voting early,” he said. “We think by Friday evening, we’ll be at 2.4 million. Both of those are records. And so we’re excited about the participation we’ve had.”
In Georgia, candidates must get at least 50% of the vote to win. If not, they’ll get into a runoff, which will happen faster this go around, on Dec. 6.