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More than 1 million people have voted early in Georgia

Senate debates pick up in final weeks
Senate debates pick up in final weeks before 2022 midterm elections 06:15

More than one million people have already voted in Georgia's 2022 elections, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Wednesday.

"As of Wednesday morning, Georgia is well over the One Million mark with 1,017,732 voters casting their ballot during Early Voting," said Raffensperger, adding, "Georgia has had record Early Voting turnout since the first day of Early Voting this year, surging to nearly twice the number on the first day of Early Voting in 2018." 

Raffensperger celebrated the milestone on Twitter, congratulating Georgia voters and thanking local election officials.

Raffensperger on Wednesday also touted the state's decreased wait times at polling locations, crediting a new pilot program that aims to streamline the check-in process.

"Georgia voters are giving their county election directors a tremendous blessing by taking advantage of the unprecedented variety of Early Voting options available to all Georgians," Raffensperger said in a statement. "Reducing the burden on the counties is crucial for a safe, secure, and accessible election."

All eyes are on Georgia as voters cast their ballots in two consequential races: the gubernatorial race between the Republican incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams, and the senate race between incumbent Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock and his GOP challenger, Herschel Walker. 

Georgia proved a crucial state in 2020, flipping blue and helping secure Democrats both the presidency and control of the Senate in tight races. In the 2020 Senate runoff race, Warnock beat his Republican challenger by just over 93,000 votes, while President Joe Biden won the state by fewer than 12,000 votes against former President Donald Trump.

Georgians Hit The Polls On State's First Day Of Voting For The Midterm Election
Voters turn out to cast their ballots as early voting begins on October 17, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.  Megan Varner / Getty Images

In 2021, Georgia's GOP-controlled state legislature passed a 98-page election law, which included voting provisions that some, including Abrams, found restrictive. Abrams went even further, saying that she found provisions of the bill to be racist. 

Biden called the legislation "an un-American law to deny people the right to vote," adding, "This is Jim Crow in the 21st century."

While the new law expanded early voting opportunities, it also added an ID requirement for absentee voting — a provision that has disproportionately affected voters of color — among other restrictions.

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