record

Georgia has more than doubled the previous early voting record set in the 2014 midterm elections with more than two million ballots cast so far in 2018.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced the new early voting record of 2,071,830 ballots cast in this year’s early voting period, compared to just 945,507 early votes in 2014. 1,886,905 of this year’s early votes were done in person, and 184,925 ballots were mailed in. In the last midterm election cycle, Georgia only had 834,484 in-person votes and 107,023 ballots mailed.

“In Georgia, it is easy to vote and hard to cheat, and I am incredibly proud of this new record showing strong voter engagement leading up to tomorrow’s election,” Kemp said in a public statement posted to his website. “This milestone is a testament to the hard work of thousands of election officials all across Georgia who are dedicated to secure, accessible, and fair elections for all.”

Kemp’s statement that it is “easy to vote and hard to cheat” has not been the experience for thousands of voters in the Peach State this year. An investigation by journalist Greg Palast found that as Secretary of State, Brian Kemp oversaw the purge of 340,000 voters who were improperly removed from voter rolls for a change of address, despite all of those voters retaining their original address. And since he assumed office in 2012, Kemp has oversaw the removal of 1.4 million voter registrations in Georgia.

Aside from being the state’s official election overseer, Brian Kemp is also the Republican candidate for governor on the 2018 ballot. While this would seem like a huge conflict of interest to casual observers, Kemp has said he would not recuse himself from his position in the event that the incredibly tight election between himself and Democrat Stacey Abrams goes to a recount. The current RealClearPolitics polling average shows the race in a statistical dead heat, with Kemp ahead by just 2.8 points — which is within the three to five-point margin of error in most polls.

 

Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.

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