Voter turnout made Georgia’s 6th District runoff look like a midterm election

Sixth District voters turned out in unprecedented numbers Tuesday for their runoff, but it takes a step back to appreciate by just how much.

We already knew that while typical turnout during off-year special elections is notoriously low, Georgia’s 6th District special election on April 18 (which decided who was in Tuesday’s runoff) topped 37 percent — nearly 194,000 people voted.

But Tuesday’s unofficial ballot count topped 259,600. That’s more than the 210,000 votes cast in the district in the November 2014 general election – putting the contest squarely in common with midterm contests, not special elections.

Many had predicted a 210,000-plus turnout, although few were sure how high it would go despite the district's reputation as a highly motivated group of voters.

With the numbers finally in, we saw a 39 percent increase in ballots cast over April.

And overall turnout percentage-wise didn’t disappoint, either.

In a district with about 526,000 registered voters in all, nearly half of them came out: Unofficial turnout stood at about 49 percent in the race.

And we know the result: Republican Karen Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff in what many had considered an early referendum of President Donald Trump's administration.

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Handel told Channel 2's Richard Elliot that she wants to earn the respect of Ossoff supporters.