Grant Jones was first in line at Henry W. Grady High School in Atlanta as Georgia saw a lighter turnout of voters for runoff elections on Tuesday Dec. 4, 2018. JOHN SPINK/JSPINK@AJC.COM

Less than half as many Georgia voters showed up for runoffs

Turnout for Georgia’s statewide runoffs fell off from last month’s high-interest election for governor, but more voters showed up than in most runoff elections.

About 21 percent of registered voters — nearly 1.5 million — cast ballots in the Dec. 4 runoff elections for Georgia secretary of state and Public Service Commission, according to state election data. 

That’s a steep decline from the 57 percent turnout in the Nov. 6 general election, when more than 3.9 million voters participated.

Republican Brad Raffensperger won the race for secretary of state against Democrat John Barrow. For Public Service Commission, incumbent Republican Chuck Eaton defeated Democrat Lyndy Miller. In both races, the winners received about 52 percent of the vote.

record number of people are registered to vote in Georgia this year, with more than 6.9 million signed up in anticipation of the general election for governor between Republican Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams.

Though less than half as many voters returned to the polls for last week’s runoff, turnout was higher than in some previous primary runoffs and special elections. In this summer’s Republican primary runoff for governor between Kemp and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, 10 percent of voters participated.

But the last time there was a statewide runoff election 10 years ago, turnout was higher. About 37 percent of voters cast ballots in the December 2008 runoff for U.S. Senate between Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin.

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