Nearly 1.1 million people have voted in Georgia Senate races

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With early voting underway this week, over 1 million people have voted already in the Georgia Senate runoffs.

Between mail ballots and early in-person votes, more than 1.12 million votes have been cast in the contentious pair of Senate races that will determine the fate of the upper chamber’s control.  Mail ballots accounted for 481,171 of the votes and in-person early voting totaled 641,924.

That total is 15 percent of Georgia’s 7.7 million registered voters, and nearly the same amount of votes as were cast at this point in the general election, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Such high turnout is unusual for runoff elections, especially without a president on the ballot. In total, about 5 million Georgians voted in last month’s election. 

In addition, nearly 76,000 new voters have registered since the presidential race, many of whom recently turned 18 or moved from out of state.

Black voters and voters over 65 are showing up in large numbers for early voting. Black voters made up 27% of the electorate in the general but they make up 32% of early votes so far. Older voters made up 25% of the overall general election voters but they make up 44% of early runoff voters so far. 

Georgia’s high early voting numbers could be the result of a nationwide campaign on both sides of the aisle to emphasize what’s at stake– control of the upper chamber, and possibly the fate of the Democratic agenda. It could also just be a reflection of a population explosion in Georgia — 1 million new voters have taken up residence in the state in the last four years. 

A combination of new voters and expanded mail-in voting helped President-elect Joe Biden to win the Peach State, the first Democrat to do so since Bill Clinton in 1992. 

Sen. David Perdue, a Republican, is facing off against Democrat Jon Ossoff. Perdue, a former Fortune 500 CEO, beat the media executive who’s nearly half his age in the November election by nearly 90,000 votes, but failed to capture a majority. 

Under Georgia’s unusual election laws, major parties do not need to choose one candidate.

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Twenty candidates ran in the race for Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s seat. Loeffler trailed Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock by nearly 344,000 votes but was sharing votes with Republican frontrunner Rep. Doug Collins. In total, all Republicans in the race earned about 47,800 more votes than Democrats combined, without factoring in third-party votes. 

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