The official runoff election day in Georgia is Jan. 5, but as that day approaches it is clear that the majority of the votes are already in. A record 3 million Georgia voters cast their ballots in early voting.
Close to 1 million Georgia residents sent their votes in by absentee ballot, while more than 2 million voted in person during the early voting period. Among the more than 3 million voters were 117,713 who did not vote in the November general election.
The 3 million early votes shattered the previous record for total turnout for a runoff election in Georgia, which was set in 2008, with 2.1 million turning out for the U.S. Senate runoff between Democrat Jim Martin and Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
The two races will decide which party ultimately controls the Senate as Republican U.S. Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue face Democratic challengers Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff
Around 5 million voted during the general election in Georgia. State law mandates that no ballots be opened prior to election night, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia’s largest newspaper, said the early voting favors the Democrat candidates as more ballots were cast by Democrat-leaning demographics and came from left-leaning areas of the state.
Republicans are hoping to make up ground on election day with President Trump planning a last-minute rally in the state Monday night. In a tweet on Saturday, Trump said, “Will be in Georgia on Monday night, 9:00 P.M. to RALLY for two GREAT people, @sendavidperdue & @KLoeffler. GET READY TO VOTE ON TUESDAY!!!,”
Sen. David Perdue has been in quarantine since Thursday after finding out he had come in contact with someone that had tested positive for the coronavirus. The senator and his wife have tested negative for the virus but the Perdue campaign has not indicated when he would be able to leave quarantine.