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Georgians set new Sunday voting record during Senate runoff

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Georgians set new Sunday voting record during Senate runoff

A vote sign at the Reid H. Cofer Library in Tucker on Nov. 8, 2022. Photo by Zoe Seiler.

DeKalb County, GA — Runoff voters broke the state’s turnout record for Sunday voting over the weekend.

“Another record has been set in this election cycle,” Georgia Secretary of State’s Chief Operating Officer Gabriel Sterling said in a tweet on Monday. “The Sunday turnout of 86,937 voters was 130% higher than the previous Sunday record of 37,785 set on October 25, 2020.”

Sterling also tweeted that as of 12:30 p.m. on Monday, the state hit a turnout of 124,007, which is on pace for a record single early vote day turnout.

In DeKalb County, 21,572 ballots were cast on Sunday, Nov. 27, in the runoff election between Sen. Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker. Early voting began on Nov. 23, and Sunday had the highest turnout so far. A total of 32,840 votes have been cast in DeKalb County, which is the largest early voting turnout in 2022.

“The team at DeKalb Voter Registration and Elections (DeKalb VRE) has worked tirelessly to ensure all voters have ample opportunity and access to vote and the turnout is an incredible reflection of their efforts,” said Dele Lowman Smith, board chair for DeKalb County Board of Registration and Elections. “The turnaround between the General Election and runoff is very quick as a result of SB202, and this year we had the added challenge of Saturday voting. The Georgia Supreme Court ruling to allow Saturday voting enabled thousands of voters to take advantage of early voting in DeKalb County.”

On Saturday, Nov. 26, 70,050 Georgians voted, Talking Points Memo reported.

Republicans tried to block Saturday voting. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger argues that early voting can’t begin on that day due to its proximity to state holidays: Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving.

Warnock sued the state of Georgia over the Secretary of State’s contention that early voting will not be allowed on Saturday, Nov. 26. Following the legal victory by Warnock and the Democratic Party of Georgia, Saturday voting was allowed in the runoff. The state Court of Appeals also upheld the ruling and the Georgia Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the Georgia Republican Party, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Republican National Committee, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Overall, 27 counties across Georgia opened the polls on Nov. 26.

Voters saw long lines for early voting on Saturday, Nov. 26. In DeKalb County, wait times were over two hours at the elections office, the AJC reported. As of about 3:15 p.m. on Nov. 28, the average wait time in DeKalb County is 37 minutes. To check the wait times, click here.

The longest wait times have been reported at Emory University, Tucker-Reid H. Cofer Library and at the DeKalb elections office. Clarkston Library, Berean Christian Church, Wesley Chapel Libary and Salem-Panola Library have some of the shortest wait times, according to the county.

Early voting runs through Dec. 2 and Election Day is on Dec. 6.

Here is DeKalb County’s plan for early voting, with important points bolded by Decaturish:

Beginning Sunday, Nov. 27, through Friday, Dec. 2, all 17 advance voting locations will be open 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., as previously publicized.

Note: Here are the locations …

Berean Christian Church
2201 Young Road
Stone Mountain, Ga 30088

Dekalb Voter Registration & Elections Office 
4380 Memorial Drive Ste. 300
Decatur, Ga 30032

Bessie Branham Recreation Center
2051 Delano Drive Ne
Atlanta, Ga 30317

North Dekalb Senior Center
3393 Malone Dr
Chamblee, Ga 30341

Briarwood Recreation 
2235 Briarwood Way Ne
Atlanta, Ga 30329

Gallery At South Dekalb (S. Dekalb Mall) 
2801 Candler Rd
Decatur, Ga 30034

Stonecrest-Former Sam’s Club 
2994 Turner Hill Rd
Stonecrest, Ga 30038

County Line-Ellenwood Library
4331 River Road
Ellenwood, GA 30294

Tucker-Reid H. Cofer Library 
5234 Lavista Road
Tucker, Ga 30084

Dunwoody Library 
5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road
Dunwoody, Ga 30338

Wesley Chapel Library
2861 Wesley Chapel Road
Decatur, Ga 30034

Emory University
1599 Clifton Road
Atlanta, Ga 30322

Wade Walker YMCA
5605 Rockbridge Rd SW
Stone Mountain, GA 30088

Beulah Missionary Baptist Church
2340 Clifton Springs Road
Decatur, Ga. 30034

Clarkston Library
951 N Indian Creek
Clarkston, Ga. 30321

During the advance voting period, registered voters can vote at any of the DeKalb County advance voting locations. Voters are reminded that drop boxes are available at select advance voting locations and are accessible during operating hours only.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Nov. 28. To request an absentee ballot, click here.

Georgia law now requires voters to provide either a Georgia Driver’s License or Georgia ID Card number or a copy of another form of ID with an absentee ballot application. If someone does not have an acceptable ID, they can get one for free from the VRE office or the Department of Driver Services. Click here for more information about Georgia’s ID requirements.

Absentee ballots be returned by 7 p.m. on Election Day, Dec. 6. DeKalb VRE encourages voters to mail their ballots back at least a week before election day. For more information about absentee ballots, visit the Secretary of State’s page.

Ballots should be mailed to: Board of Registrars, 4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300, Decatur, GA 30032.zo

Drop boxes are open during advance voting hours between Nov. 27 to Dec. 2 at the following locations:

– Briarwood Recreation Center, 2235 Briarwood Way NE, Atlanta, GA 30329

– Dunwoody Library, 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338

– DeKalb Voter Registration & Elections Office, 4380 Memorial Drive Ste. 300, Decatur, GA 30032

– Gallery at South DeKalb Mall, 2801 Candler Rd, Decatur, GA 30034

– Stonecrest-Former Sam’s Club, 2994 Turner Hill Rd, Stonecrest, Ga 30038

– Tucker-Reid H. Cofer Library, 5234 Lavista Road, Tucker, GA 30084

After the close of advance voting, voters can still deliver their ballot by hand to the front desk of the Voter Registration and Elections Office during our business hours, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or until 7 p.m. on Election Day.

To see the composite sample ballot, click here.

For more information, visit www.DeKalbVotes.com or call 404-298-4020.

Editor and Publisher Dan Whisenhunt contributed to this article.

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