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Huge turnout as early voting ends in Georgia ahead of Tuesday’s election day

Published: May. 20, 2022 at 10:49 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Election officials said more than 150,000 people voted on Friday alone, in the final day of early voting.

Of those, 73,465 voted as Republican, 65,922 as Democrat, and 704 as nonpartisan, according to Gabriel Sterling, election official.

“The record early voting turnout is a testament to the security of the voting system and the hard work of our county election officials,” said Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger,” in a news release on Thursday.

Early voting ended at 7 p.m. Friday statewide.

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The final opportunity for voters to cast their ballot in person is Tuesday, on election day.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

As long as you’re in line at 7 o’clock, you’re legally allowed to vote.

On Friday, many voters said they rushed to the polls to avoid potentially longer lines on Tuesday.

“I feel like the lines will be worse next week,” said Denzil Nicholson, outside a polling place in Buford.

Others stressed it’s the issues driving them out.

“The state of the country, the things that are going on, supreme court, crime, people, everything, it’s there, you have the voice, you have to vote,” said Roslyn Thomas, at a polling place in Norcross.

Nicholson said he’s more invested this year compared to prior elections.

“I paid-more attention than I ever had to the down ballot, because by the time you get off the top, the headline, it’s hard to get name recognition, but I had to put some work into it,” he said.

Heading into Friday, the Secretary of State’s office reported more than 700,000 Georgians have already voted.

Officials said Republicans are leading this surge.

“This is pretty typical of what happens in midterm elections when you have a president who is not especially popular,” said Alan Abramowitz, political science professor at Emory University.

Abramowitz said former President Donald Trump could also be influencing the GOP turnout.

“I think that’s stimulated the turnout of Republican primary voters. Not just that you have competitive primaries, but you have this unusual situation of a former president trying to influence the outcome,” said Abramowitz.

Abramowitz said he expects November’s turnout to be even higher.

“The real test is going to come in November or run up to November and then election day in November.

The nation’s eyes are going to be on Georgia.”