Warnock makes Election Day campaign stop at alma mater

Sen. Raphael Warnock speaks to students at Morehouse College on Election Day. (Jill Nolin/Georgia Recorder)

Sen. Raphael Warnock held his last public campaign stop on familiar turf: his alma mater.

Warnock, who is in a tight race with Republican Herschel Walker, spoke with students at Morehouse College Tuesday afternoon and urged them to rally their friends and classmates to the polls in the final hours of voting in Georgia’s midterm.

“Brothers, don’t let anybody tell you it doesn’t matter who’s in this office,” Warnock said to the students. “It does. Don’t let anybody tell you your vote doesn’t count. It does. Don’t let anybody convince you it won’t make a difference. It does.

“If I had not been elected – as brilliant as she is and she deserves to be there – but if I had not been elected, we wouldn’t have a Supreme Court justice named Ketanji Brown Jackson,” he said, referring to the first Black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court.

Most of the students there said they had already voted, though some said they voted by absentee in their hometowns.

Drew Dozier, a Morehouse freshman from Washington D.C. who is studying political science, said he didn’t realize until too late he could register as a voter in Georgia. He voted by absentee ballot back home but said he plans to register here for the next election.

“I think a lot of students have taken advantage of that to mobilize the Black vote,” Dozier said.

Young voter turnout has been low during the early voting period. Nearly 9% of the state’s voters between the ages of 18 and 29 had cast a ballot going into Tuesday, according to GeorgiaVotes.com.

That isn’t too surprising to Kai Ingram, a 20-year-old Spelman student, who said she sees the lack of engagement firsthand.

“You’ll talk to someone and you’ll be like, are you voting? They’re like ‘No’ or they don’t know how to vote or they’re not registered,” Ingram said.

“Just now I had to call my sister – my sister is 26 – and she’s like, ‘Why?’ Especially I think as Black people we’re so disconnected. We think that everything is bad, which it can be, but there are little ways that we can make it better.”

Warnock told reporters Tuesday he was prepared to “soldier on for a few more weeks” if there is a runoff. If no candidate receives 50% of the vote, a runoff will be held on Dec. 6.