Early votes in Georgia, nation could signal high ‘22 turnout amid high stakes for Democrats
The Associated Press
Updated: March 1, 2018
MOUNT HOPE, Ga. – The Latest on Tuesday’s midterm election for a U.S. Senate seat from Georgia that President Donald Trump, who is running for a second term, is trying to retain (all times local):
Georgia officials are reporting some of the highest voter turnout rates in the nation. But Democrats say that’s not the high that voters are going to show up at the polls this year.
The most recent figures from state officials give the Democratic candidates at each of the nine polling precincts a total voter turnout rate of about 75 percent. That’s far higher than any of the recent midterm turnout numbers from other states.
Still, even with those high levels of turnout, Democrats are losing a Senate race that President Donald Trump has been trying to win since he was elected in 2016.
Republicans, who have always led in the race, must win by a better margin or by splitting votes in order to secure the seat they hope to keep. This week, they are on track to do neither.
Georgia officials say Tuesday’s ballot should help determine how competitive the race will be in next year’s midterm elections.
More than 1,000 people have already voted in elections in Georgia, an overwhelming majority for Democrats and a sign of an early voting turnout that’s expected to be good for Trump’s reelection bid.
Officials say as of 10 p.m. they had received 2,521 absentee ballots — nearly doubling the number that had been sent out as of Tuesday afternoon.
Officials also say almost 50 percent of the voters who’ve cast absentee ballots by phone so far Tuesday have been Republicans.
Democrats have called on Republicans to increase their turnout to help them pick up key Senate seats in November. But Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has said he wants votes to go to the candidates.
Democrats are hoping to win a seat in