The number tops that of the historic 2008 election season, which had 150,897 early voting ballots. A decade ago, early voting was held only a week before elections, between Oct. 27 and Oct. 31; much shorter than the three weeks currently allowed for early voting.
But DeKalb elections director Erica Hamilton stopped just short of saying Tuesday’s totals would surpass the amount of ballots cast a decade ago during the general election.
“I can’t gauge it, but with the surge in voters, we’ll be close,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday morning.
Hamilton predicted the county would pass 2008 early voting totals Friday, the last day for early voting. Typically the busiest for early voting, Hamilton said the final day had wait times up to two-and-a-half hours at a few precincts, including at South DeKalb Mall where the last ballot was cast at 10:46 p.m.
“With the enthusiasm that voters have shown, I think we’ll have a good turnout tomorrow,” Hamilton said.
The gubernatorial race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp has thrust Georgia into the national spotlight. Within the past week, high profile people have campaigned for the candidates.
On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence made three stops in Georgia — Dalton, Savannah and Grovetown — for Kemp. President Donald Trump held a rally Sunday for the secretary of state in Macon. Oprah Winfrey campaigned for Abrams on Thursday in Decatur and Marietta. On Friday, former President Barack Obama spoke during a rally held for Abrams at Morehouse College.
Statewide, the number of early voters is a new high for a midterm election with 2.1 million votes cast ahead of Tuesday's election. Early turnout more than doubled from the last midterm election in 2014, when about 954,000 people cast advance ballots.