search
Sections List
American Journal News

Georgia breaks records on its first day of early runoff voting

The secretary of state’s office confirmed at least 261,424 mail ballots had already been accepted, surpassing all previous state records.

By Amy Lieu - December 14, 2020
Share
Jon Ossoff

Georgia voters are already smashing absentee ballot records as early voting begins for a pair of U.S. Senate runoff elections in the state.

Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told the Wall Street Journal on Monday, at the start of the early voting period, that it appeared the runoffs would be a “high-turnout election.”

The outlet cited figures from the U.S. Elections Project, which tracks mail ballots using data from the Georgia secretary of state. The Journal reported 246,531 mail ballots had been accepted so far — a 20.1% return rate of requested ballots — and 1,227,285 mail ballots requested, which is a 16.1% request rate of registered voters, as of Monday.

The project is led by Michael McDonald, a political science professor at the University of Florida.

Walter Jones, a spokesman for Raffensperger’s office, confirmed the record-breaking numbers to the American Independent Foundation.

According to Jones, 261,424 mail ballots had already been accepted and 1,191,901 mail ballots requested as of Monday. He said the figures indicated an all-time record in the state “by a long shot.”

Raffensperger emphasized the high stakes of the January runoff, speaking to the Journal this week, encouraging candidates “to make sure that they run hard, because we don’t have a runoff after the runoff. This is it.”

Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock are running against incumbent Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, respectively, in a pair of races that will determine which political party controls the U.S. Senate in the next Congress.

The number of absentee ballots this time around bests records set in previous statewide runoffs by a wide margin.

In the December 2018 secretary of state runoff between Raffensperger and Democrat John Barrow, fewer than 1.5 million votes were cast and just 82,000 of them were via absentee ballot, according to Jones. That runoff election also saw a lower turnout than the general election, as participation among both candidates’ supporters dipped at a similar rate, according to the Americus Times-Recorder.

And in the December 2008 U.S. Senate runoff between Republican Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin, just 2.1 million votes were cast, with around 100,000 of those votes coming from absentee ballots. Chambliss won that face-off 57% to 43%, according to the Times-Recorder.

Jones told the American Independent Foundation that, before this year, “we never got anywhere close” to the number of absentee ballots requested or returned in the state.

If either Ossoff or Warnock wins, it would be the first time in 23 years a Democrat won a statewide runoff election in Georgia. The Times-Recorder noted that the last time that happened was the 1998 Public Service Commission runoff when Democrat Lauren “Bubba” McDonald Jr. beat Republican Jim Cole.

Overall turnout in the 2020 election was astounding, with more than 1.6 million absentee ballots requested in Georgia alone, and more than 541,000 accepted, according to the secretary of state’s website.

That figure is impressive, especially given how aggressively Donald Trump and his GOP allies worked to undermine the absentee ballot process in the run-up to the Nov. 3 election, suggesting mail ballots were somehow fraudulent and should be tossed out.

They pushed conspiracy theories claiming, without proof, that mail ballots sidestepped security and scrutiny, forming the impetus for much of Trump’s efforts to overturn his election defeat.

But officials across the country have found no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” Trump’s own Attorney General William Barr told the Associated Press, not long after Biden was declared the winner.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


AJ News
Get the latest news here first.

Tai News

Newsletter
Read More
Cannabis workers across Missouri begin push to unionize dispensaries 

Cannabis workers across Missouri begin push to unionize dispensaries 

By Rebecca Rivas - December 04, 2023
Curtis Hertel Jr. places public service over politics in Michigan congressional run

Curtis Hertel Jr. places public service over politics in Michigan congressional run

By Alyssa Burr - October 20, 2023
Republican Virginia Senate candidate Danny Diggs has ties to hate groups and extremists

Republican Virginia Senate candidate Danny Diggs has ties to hate groups and extremists

By Josh Israel - October 20, 2023
Demands grow for Wisconsin Supreme Court to redraw the state’s legislative maps

Demands grow for Wisconsin Supreme Court to redraw the state’s legislative maps

By Rebekah Sager - October 19, 2023
Pennsylvania elections 2023: A voter’s guide to the state Supreme Court race

Pennsylvania elections 2023: A voter’s guide to the state Supreme Court race

By Anna Gustafson - October 19, 2023
Pennsylvania elections 2023: What to know before you vote

Pennsylvania elections 2023: What to know before you vote

By Anna Gustafson - October 18, 2023
AJ News
Latest
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

By Jesse Valentine - February 23, 2024
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

By Jesse Valentine - February 22, 2024
More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

By Megan Henry, Ohio Capital Journal - February 22, 2024
Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

By Kyle Dunphey, Utah News Dispatch - February 21, 2024
Key takeaways from Monday’s U.S. Senate Ohio Republican primary debate

Key takeaways from Monday’s U.S. Senate Ohio Republican primary debate

By Nick Evans, Ohio Capital Journal - February 20, 2024