Weekend in-person early voting numbers in DeKalb County are up 67 percent from the last midterm election, making the totals “historical numbers for a gubernatorial election,” county Elections Director Erica Hamilton said Monday.
Approximately 11,780 voters cast ballots in DeKalb this weekend, according to election data posted on the county’s website. In 2014, more than 7,000 voters showed up to the polls on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 25 and Oct. 26.
At this point during the 2014 midterms, 73,381 DeKalb residents had early voted. By comparison, in the current midterm, 69,905 ballots had been cast in DeKalb by Sunday evening.
“If we don’t surpass (the 2014 total) today we’re going to surpass that this week,” Hamilton said in a phone interview Monday morning.
Voters were still in line Saturday as late as 4 p.m., when polling locations in DeKalb were scheduled to close, Hamilton said. While voters at the county’s main election office on Memorial Drive waited roughly 10 minutes to cast ballots, wait times at the Tucker and South DeKalb polling locations reached up to an hour over the weekend. Voters who made the line by 4 p.m., were allowed to cast ballots.
The county expects between 6,000 and 7,000 daily voters at the polls this week.
“We’re are preparing for that, especially toward the end of the week,” Hamilton said. Early voting ends Friday, Nov. 2.
Renata Fleming, manager of the polls at the Dunwoody library, said the number of voters has been increasing every day, and Saturday’s turnout suggested big numbers for the gubernatorial race.
“You really never see it this busy for a governor’s race,” she said.
DeKalb’s high voter turnout may not be surprising since first-day early voter totals were nearing that of the historic 2018 election. This election season pits what could be Georgia’s first black women governor in Stacey Abrams against Republican challenger and current Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
The county has also seen increased absentee ballots returning to their offices. To date, the county has received 11, 528 ballots.
The state Democratic party claims there are 4,700 registered voters in DeKalb who have submitted absentee ballot applications but still have not received their ballots.
The county elections board and Secretary of State’s office have said there is no evidence of missing or lost ballot applications in the county.