Early voting numbers for the July 22 runoff are in. The majority of ballots have been received, though mail-in absentee ballots can still be cast.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said in a statement Monday that 159,152 ballots have already been cast. That number includes 134,267 ballots in which people voted in person plus 24,885 mail-in ballots returned.
Kemp says that number is about 13 percent of eligible voters. He predicts the Republican runoff could see double digit turnout due to higher profile races.
“When you have a U.S. Senate race, you know there’s people spending a lot of money to reach the voters so there’s a lot more awareness on that,” said Kemp. “And then you also have three open congressional seats and for all practical purposes the winner of the Republican runoff is going to be the next Congressman.”
He says turnout in the Democratic runoff races could be in the single digits because the highest profile race is for State Superintendent. That race hasn’t gotten as much attention.
Turnout for the primary back in May was about 20 percent statewide.But Kemp doesn’t expect to see those numbers on Tuesday, which is pretty typical for a runoff.
This year’s primary election was the earliest in state history, and the same is true of the July 22 runoff election. He thinks the timing has caught a lot of voters by surprise.
“I think that there are still people that just at this time of the year, in the middle of the summer, they’re not really paying attention to elections and campaigning as much as they are you know their daily work lives and vacation and other things.”
Kemp says if there’s stormy weather, that may also reduce voter turnout.
The polls will be open until 7 p.m. Tuesday night.
This article contains material from The Associated Press