People wait in a long line to vote at the Cobb County Board of Elections and Registration office in Marietta on Oct. 27, 2018. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC
Photo: Steve Schaefer
Photo: Steve Schaefer

Early voting in Georgia slumps before Tuesday runoff election

Early voting turnout before Georgia runoff election Tuesday plunged compared to last month’s highly anticipated general election.

About one-fifth as many voters cast ballots in advance of the runoff, according to data from the Secretary of State’s Office. More than 402,000 Georgians voted early for the runoff after 2.1 million voted in advance of the Nov. 6 general election.

The statewide runoffs for secretary of state and Public Service Commission lack the intensity of the general election, when Republican Brian Kemp defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams for governor. 

For secretary of state, Democrat John Barrow faces Republican Brad Raffensperger. In the Public Service Commission race, Republican Chuck Eaton is opposed by Democrat Lindy Miller.

But early voting turnout for the runoff is still higher than this summer’s primary election. Nearly 329,000 people voted in advance of the May 22 primary election. About 215,000 people voted early for the July 24 primary runoff.

The total number of early votes cast for Tuesday’s runoff will continue to rise.

Mailed-in absentee ballots will still be counted as long as they’re postmarked by Tuesday and received by county election officials by Friday, according to a legal settlement last week that extended the deadline for ballots to be returned.

In-person early voting ended Friday. Local precincts will be open statewide from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

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