#DECISION2018: Record numbers reported for early voting in Georgia
Georgia has a razor thin race for governor. Voter turnout is substantially up in the first few days of early voting compared to this time in the previous midterm elections in 2014.
Voters are showing up in record numbers, and the candidates are encouraging everyone to get to the polls. That was the message Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams made at a stop in our area.
All summer, Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp have both tried to reach undecided voters but until the November election, their strategy is all about getting their supporters to actually vote.
Throughout Georgia, early voter turnout is creating long lines at the polls, including the Whitfield County Courthouse. The long line stretched out the door and into the hallway. It took voters longer than expected to cast their ballots. However, that did not bother Angelina Vaquera-Linke. She was happy to see so many people at the polls.
“I have been really encouraged by all the numbers I have seen by how many Georgians are voting early,” said Vaquera-Linke.
There are almost 50-thousand registered voters in Whitfield County, officials with the board of elections said they are seeing a record number turnout. As of Friday morning, they said 4% of voters have already submitted their ballots. Steve Rutledge understands why.
“This is a big deal. Very big deal. This can either take away power from the president and give it to democrats or vice versa," said Rutledge.
Voting was a key message Democratic nominee for governor, Stacey Abrams, shared during her bus tour to Dalton.
“It is getting those who never turn out in primaries and never turn out in generals and do not turnout in midterms," Abrams said. "If we can get them to turn out to voting then we know that is a strong signal.”
But it doesn't matter what side of the isle you're on, these voters agree.
“It is the one thing no one can take away from us,” said Rutledge.
“It is important for you, for your kids, for your parents, your grandparents, your neighbors. Just come and get it done,” said Vaquera-Linke.
Friday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp announced his three-day, 20-stop bus tour. That tour is focused on voters in Southeast Georgia.