Editorial: Georgians are shattering early voting records

Seemingly each day, Georgia voters are setting records.

As we quickly approach the Nov. 3 General Election, voters are turning out in droves for early, in-person voting and are absentee by mail voting in large numbers as well, according to the Secretary of State's Office. On Monday, there were 158,426 early, in-person ballots cast.

"Georgia is a leader in election access," Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said in a press release. "Notwithstanding the pandemic, voters in the Peach State can take advantage of no-excuse absentee ballot voting by mail or through a secure drop box; three weeks of early, in-person voting; or Election Day voting."

As of Monday at 8 p.m., compared to the close of polls on Oct. 24, 2016:

• Total number of ballots cast: 1,692,603 vs. 699,768

• Total number of early, in-person ballots cast: 981,199 vs. 603,711

• Total number of absentee by mail ballots cast: 711,404 vs. 96,057

For more perspective, here are the percentage increases:

• Increase in total turnout to date: 142%

• Increase in total early, in-person turnout to date: 62.5%

• Increase in absentee by mail ballots accepted to date: 640.6%

In Whitfield County, early voting takes place in the elections office in the county courthouse, 205 N. Selvidge St., Suite K, in Dalton, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Friday, Oct. 30. Early voting will also take place on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The phone number for the elections office is (706) 278-7183.

In Murray County, early voting takes place at the Murray County Recreation Center, 691 Hyden Tyler Road in Chatsworth, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until Friday, Oct. 30. Early voting will also take place on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Murray County elections office is in the county courthouse annex, 121 N. Fourth Ave. in Chatsworth. The phone number is (706) 517-1400, ext. 1232.

We are pleased to see so many people taking advantage of early voting.

Voters are no doubt emboldened by a heated race for president between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, along with national, state and local races across Georgia.

Let's keep the momentum going through Nov. 3.

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