Early voting in Georgia’s 6th District has surged past 119,500

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Early voting in Georgia’s 6th District has surged past 119,500

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Chad Rhym
Early voters make their way Saturday into a Fulton County polling location ahead of the June 20 runoff between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff. CHAD RHYM/AJC

More than 119,500 people have already voted in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, easily doubling the early vote total from April when a special election decided this month’s nationally watched runoff between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff.

The early vote pace has surprised both pundits and local election officials, some of who are predicting a higher early voting turnout for the race than on Tuesday, which is Election Day.

While the turnout during off-year special elections is typically low, Georgia’s 6th District special election on April 18 (which decided who was in this month’s runoff) topped a respectable 37 percent — nearly 194,000 people voted. That’s a turnout more common for a midterm contest than a special election.

This time, in Round 2, many are expecting between a 200,000 and 210,000 voter turnout —with some saying it will go even higher. If so, that would be incredible for a district that boasts almost 530,000 registered voters and includes parts of three of metro Atlanta’s most populous counties — Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton.

For now, however, the number of early voters for the runoff stood at 119,544 as of Thursday morning, according to date from the Secretary of State’s Office. That number includes both in-person early voters as well as returned absentee-by-mail ballots.

Early voting ahead of the runoff ends Friday.

How to vote early

Check where to vote before you go. These are not your regular neighborhood polling places. The municipalities only open select sites during the early-voting period.

Use the Secretary of State Office’s personalized online “my voter page” website (www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do) to find more information and confirm your registration status.

Or call your local elections office to find early-voting locations or look for the “advance voting info” link under the elections tab of the Secretary of State Office’s website (www.sos.ga.gov).

Don’t forget to bring photo identification, which can include a Georgia driver’s license, even if it’s expired; a state-issued voter identification card; a valid U.S. passport; or a valid U.S. military photo ID.

No “ballot selfies” are allowed at the polls, so wait to snap a photo until you’re outside. It is illegal in Georgia to take pictures of a ballot or voting equipment, but the Secretary of State Office has said it has seen voters in previous elections post “ballot selfies” on social media — something that could get you in trouble with the law.

Information about local elections can also be found on the free “GA SOS” app for your smartphone via iTunes or Google Play for Android.

Jon Ossoff has opened a lead over Karen Handel in the race for the 6th District, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll shows.
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