Georgians set new Sunday voting record during Senate runoff

A vote sign at the Reid H. Cofer Library in Tucker on Nov. 8, 2022. (Zoe Seiler/ Decaturish)

Runoff voters broke the state’s turnout record for Sunday voting over the weekend.

“Another record has been set in this election cycle,” Georgia Secretary of State’s Chief Operating Officer Gabriel Sterling said in a tweet on Monday. “The Sunday turnout of 86,937 voters was 130% higher than the previous Sunday record of 37,785 set on October 25, 2020.”

Sterling also tweeted that as of 12:30 p.m. on Monday, the state hit a turnout of 124,007, which is on pace for a record single early vote day turnout.

“The team at DeKalb Voter Registration and Elections (DeKalb VRE) has worked tirelessly to ensure all voters have ample opportunity and access to vote and the turnout is an incredible reflection of their efforts,” said Dele Lowman Smith, board chair for DeKalb County Board of Registration and Elections. “The turnaround between the General Election and runoff is very quick as a result of SB202, and this year we had the added challenge of Saturday voting. The Georgia Supreme Court ruling to allow Saturday voting enabled thousands of voters to take advantage of early voting in DeKalb County.”

On Saturday, Nov. 26, 70,050 Georgians voted, Talking Points Memo reported.

Republicans tried to block Saturday voting. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger argues that early voting can’t begin on that day due to its proximity to state holidays: Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving.

Warnock sued the state of Georgia over the Secretary of State’s contention that early voting will not be allowed on Saturday, Nov. 26. Following the legal victory by Warnock and the Democratic Party of Georgia, Saturday voting was allowed in the runoff. The state Court of Appeals also upheld the ruling and the Georgia Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the Georgia Republican Party, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Republican National Committee, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Overall, 27 counties across Georgia opened the polls on Nov. 26.

Voters saw long lines for early voting on Saturday, Nov. 26. In DeKalb County, wait times were over two hours at the elections office, the AJC reported. 

The longest wait times have been reported at Emory University, Tucker-Reid H. Cofer Library and at the DeKalb elections office. Clarkston Library, Berean Christian Church, Wesley Chapel Libary and Salem-Panola Library have some of the shortest wait times, according to the county.

Early voting runs through Dec. 2 and Election Day is on Dec. 6.