LIVE UPDATES: Georgia Senate runoff election
CHICAGO (CBS) – All eyes were on the state of Georgia on Tuesday as months of campaigning culminated in the runoff election for the last undecided U.S. Senate seat.
It was Election Day for incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker, much to the relief of voters. The outcome could mean a shift for the Senate.
"We've been inundated with text messages and calls," said Mara Neumann, a voter in Smyrna, Georgia. "I think we're all ready for this to be over."
Joaquin Verdial, another Georgia voter, said he thought there's been "too much media, too many calls, texts. It's just been crazy. It's kind of annoying."
The bombardment of ads included plenty of mudslinging, with both candidates questioning their opponent's character.
"Right now, I put my character against Raphael Warnock's any day," Walker said.
"My opponent says many things," Warnock said. "You can't believe any of it."
Democrats have already secured control of the Senate, but the outcome of this race will impact how much leverage each party has.
Both campaigns are counting on strong turnout and hope rainy weather won't keep voters home.
"Right now, this is a good time for people to go out and vote, have their voices heard and their votes counted," Walker said.
"We had historic turnout during the early voting period, but we should not rest on our laurels," Warnock urged supporters. "The job is not done."
With more than nearly 2 million votes cast in early voting, turnout has already exceeded expectations.
"Everybody assumed we'd have a decent amount of early vote but not nearly 2 million all together," said Gabriel Sterling, of Georgia's Secretary of State Office. "Nobody saw that."
More than 1 million people were expected to cast ballots on Tuesday, with an average wait time of about two minutes.
Federal records show Warnock's campaign has spent about $170 million on the race so far, nearly three times as much as Walker's campaign, which has spent nearly $60 million.
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