Mike Klein Online

Georgia Early Vote Should Pass 800,000; Far Less Than 2008 Election

Georgia early voting seems certain to pass 800,000 ballots cast, a sizable number by its own merits, but still down from nearly 2.1 million in the presidential election two years ago.

More than three-quarter million early ballots have been cast, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s elections division.   Total ballots cast were 761,042 with 643,936 voted in person, 117,106 mail-in ballots and 58,606 mail-in ballots outstanding.  General voters can return mail-in ballots through Tuesday.  Military personnel ballots will be counted through Friday.

This is the second general election and the first mid-term in which all eligible Georgians are permitted to vote early in-person or by mail-in without having to provide a reason or excuse.

Two years ago the state recorded 2,084,1279 early ballots and that represented 53% of total ballots, said Matt Carrothers, director of media relations for the Secretary of State’s office.

Presidential election years generate more voters than mid-term elections.  Georgia turnout in the three most recent presidential elections was 69% in 2000 when Texas Governor George W. Bush defeated Vice President Al Gore, 77% four years later when President Bush defeated Massachusetts Sen.  John Kerry and 76% two years ago when Illinois Sen.  Barack Obama defeated Arizona Sen. John McCain.

Fewer Georgians vote in mid-term election years.  Governor Sonny Perdue upset incumbent Governor Roy Barnes in 2002 with 54% of eligible Georgians voting.  The total voter percentage declined to 48% when Perdue won re-election over Democratic challenger Mark Taylor in 2006.

Election history dating to 1988 is available on the Secretary of State website, www.sos.ga.gov/elections.

Mike Klein is Editor at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

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November 1, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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