The single-day early voting turnout Friday in Georgia broke the last record set just days ago in an indication of intense interest in the race for Senate between former football player Herschel Walker and incumbent Raphael Warnock.
Top election official Gabriel Sterling touted the results on Twitter, revealing that 350,574 people had voted as of 8 p.m. Friday.
“That’s just an amazing number. Great job by the counties’ elections officials and voters,” he wrote on Twitter.
Just wow! The Georgia Voters just blew away the early vote single day record today. The numbers as of 8pm are 350,574. That’s just an amazing number. Great job by the counties’ elections officials and voters. #gapolpic.twitter.com/Q3q4PzAeka
— Gabriel Sterling (@GabrielSterling) December 3, 2022
Some voters had to wait an hour to cast their ballots.
The turnout worried Republicans. While Seth Weathers, a Georgia director for former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, had been optimistic about a Walker win, he told The Washington Post: “I have more concern” in light of the big voter numbers.
The last turnout record was set on Monday, with over a quarter of a million Georgians casting early ballots. Before that, the record was about 233,000 on the last day of early voting in the 2018 midterm elections.
Friday was the last day of early voting. Voters will be able to cast ballots in person on election day Tuesday and return mail ballots throughout that day.
As of Friday morning, at least 1,473,000 voters had cast early ballots in person or by mail, according to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office. That’s 37% of the total votes cast in the Nov. 7 midterm election, Reuters reported.
Warnock won the first round of the race last month by about a single percent but didn’t grab the majority he needed. A Libertarian candidate, who isn’t an issue this time around, won 2% of the vote.
Warnock is leading Walker by about 4%, according to a CNN poll released Friday.
Early voting in the runoff began last weekend.
Democrats have already maintained control of the Senate but hope to increase the number.