Record Early Voting for Runoff
On Monday, November 28, 2022, the first mandatory statewide day of Early Voting, Georgia voters are continuing record turnout levels, reports Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. However, Early Voting differs from Election Day and Absentee-by-Mail in several ways. The Secretary of State’s Datahub is the best source of pre-election turnout data and analytics. More thorough analysis can be done by downloading the voter absentee files and voter history files posted on the Secretary of State’s website. Under Georgia law, any eligible Georgia voter registered by November 7th may cast a ballot in the runoff election, regardless of their previous voting history. They do not need to have voted in the primary or general election in order to cast a ballot in the runoff election. They can elect to vote by in person early, on election day, or absentee by mail. Under Georgia law, Early Voting is considered “Absentee In-Person” voting because by casting a ballot before Election Day, they are making themselves absent on Election Day. See OCGA 21-2-385. When a voter shows up to vote for Early Voting aka “Absentee In-Person” voting, they will fill out an “Application for In-Person Absentee Ballot.” This is the same form that has been used for Early Voting in previous elections. For this election, Fulton County is having voters fill out the form manually instead of pre-populating it from the voter registration system, which is leading to increased questions about the title of the form. Filling out an “Application for In-Person Absentee Ballot” when a voter goes to early vote is the normal process. It results in that voter being granted access to go vote early; it does not result in that voter receiving an absentee by mail ballot. During Early Voting, voters may vote at any Early Voting location within their county. These locations are often different than the precincts assigned to them on Election Day. Voters have the flexibility to choose any location during the Early Voting period, but those dates and hours often differ from location to location. Voters should check both My Voter Page or their county election office website to confirm those details prior to casting a ballot.