10/20/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/20/2020 12:10
(ATLANTA)-Georgia voters have cast more than 1 million early, in-person ballots so far for the November presidential election Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced. The Peach State has reached this landmark several days earlier than during early voting before the November 2016 elections.
'Thanks to the hard work of Georgia's state and local elections officials, who have been preparing for record turnout across the board, Georgians have been able to flock to the polls early this year,' said Secretary Raffensperger. 'Crossing the 1 million early, in-person ballot milestone this quickly is a testament to the energy of our state's voters, the diligence of our election workers, and the security and accessibility of our voting system.'
On Tuesday, the 9th day since early voting began, Georgia voters cast the 1 millionth early, in-person ballot, reaching 1,045,968 as of noon. In 2016, the same milestone was not crossed until the end of the second week of early, in-person voting. So far, Georgia voters have cast early, in-person ballots 62.5% faster in 2020 than they did ahead of the 2016 presidential elections.
At the same time, voters have returned absentee ballots by mail at a record rate: 640.1% faster than they did four years ago. By the end of the 9th day since early, in-person voting began, Georgians had cast 711,404 absentee ballots by mail or through one of the many drop boxes around the state. For comparison, Georgia voters have only returned 96,057 at the same point in 2016. Absentee ballot drop boxes were first allowed in Georgia this year following rules passed at the request of the counties by the State Election Board, chaired by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, ahead of the June primaries and again to prepare for the November elections.
Overall, Georgia voters have cast 1,694,033 before Election Day. At the end of the 9th day of early voting ahead of the November 2016 elections, only 699,768 had done so. This represents a 142% increase in turnout.
Georgia is recognized as a national leader in elections. It was the first state in the country to implement the trifecta of automatic voter registration, at least 16 days of early voting (which has been called the 'gold standard'), and no-excuse absentee voting. Georgia continues to set records for voter turnout and election participation, seeing the largest increase in average turnout of any other state in the 2018 midterm election and record primary turnout in 2020, with over 1.1 million absentee by mail voters and over 1.2 million in-person voters utilizing Georgia's new, secure, paper ballot voting system.