Early voting in Georgia’s primary race has risen to record numbers despite dire warnings from Democrats that a new election law would suppress turnout — with President Biden comparing it last year to “Jim Crow in the 21st century.”
In the three weeks of early voting, more than 850,000 ballots were cast in person or returned via absentee ballot, representing a 212% jump over the 2020 presidential primary race and a 168% increase over the 2018 gubernatorial primary contest. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Riffensperger said in a statement released last Friday.
“The incredible turnout we’ve seen demonstrates once and for all that Georgia’s Election Integrity Act strikes a fine balance between guarding access and security,” Raffensperger said in the statement. I
When Governor Brian Kemp signed off on voting reforms in March 2021 introducing new rules on absentee voting, including requiring a photo ID and shortening the voting window, critics outraged.
Biden, who defeated former President Donald Trump in Georgia in 2020 to become the first Democrat to win the state since 1992, was among those who predicted the law would hinder voting, especially among minority groups, and Called it “non-American”. ,
“This is Jim Crow in the 21st century. It must end,” he said.
Calls to boycott Georgia’s government and businesses began almost immediately.
Major League Baseball pulled the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta, and critics attacked Delta Air Lines after the Atlanta-based carrier made a statement praising parts of the law. I
Amid the criticism, Delta CEO Ed Bastian nearly went face-to-face and called the law “unacceptable”.
The top executive of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, James Quincy, also came out in opposition to the measure.
But more than a year after the initial stir over the law, 857,401 people cast early ballots – including 795,567 in person and 61,744 absent on May, Raffensper said.
The increased turnout was driven by Republicans, who cast 483,149 votes compared to 368,949 and 5,303 nonpartisan votes cast by Democrats. I
The GOP’s participation in Tuesday’s primaries reflects nationwide coverage of several major races in the state, including the Republican gubernatorial contest between incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp and former Sen. David Perdue.
The race made headlines because of a split between Trump, who supported Perdue, and former Vice President Mike Pence, who supported Kemp. I
With a marquee matchup between Kemp and Perdue, NFL star and former Heisman Trophy winner Herschelle Walker is seeking the Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat and far-right lightning rod Marjorie Taylor Greene is seeking a second House term. .
Georgia Republicans are still smarting from the loss of two GOP-held Senate seats to Democrats Raphael Warnock and John Osoff who took control of the chamber in 2021.
He and the Biden administration’s failure to respond to the inflation and immigration crisis have fired Republicans.
Roughly 57% of voters have cast Republican ballots, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday. I
“We are voting for the one who will do the best job. Just because a candidate is a Trump person doesn’t mean they’ll do the best job,” Kenneth Kelly told the newspaper after voting in Cherokee County. “We have options in our party.”
Others told the publication that they are supporting a variety of Republican candidates, regardless of whether Trump endorsed them.
“It’s a mixed bag. I don’t care what Trump thinks. I want to hear from the candidates,” said early Forsyth County voter Mickey Morrison.
REP. Georgia Democratic Party Chair Nikema Williams (D-Ga.) said she is not surprised that Republicans are turning out in high numbers because of the high-profile race, and she expects a similar response from her party this November. — When there is a rematch expected between Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams after defeating her in 2018.
Abrams is running unopposed in the Democratic primary.
“That’s what happens when you have a primary contested. As long as we keep working and talking to voters, we’ll let them figure out their plans,” Williams told the newspaper. The primary comes out ready for him.”