Georgia Breaks Record for First-Day Midterm Turnout after Abrams Alleges Voter Suppression
Georgians flocked to the polls Monday to cast their ballots for the 2022 midterm elections, breaking the turnout record for the first day of early voting in a midterm election year and undermining Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams’s repeated claims that her opponent, incumbent governor Brian Kemp, is engaged in widespread voter suppression.
The turnout on Monday was nearly double the first-day vote total for 2018 and approached the total for 2020, a presidential year, according to the Georgia secretary of state’s office.
As of Tuesday, just over 131,000 Georgia voters had cast their ballot, representing an 85 percent increase from over the first day of early voting in the 2018 midterm election, when 70,849 ballots were cast. In 2020, 136,739 voters cast their ballot on the first day of early voting.
“Statewide, reports of long lines were minimal, though there were some reports of voters waiting in line for more than 30 minutes from a few popular voting locations in metro areas. Early voting turnout is expected to increase during the final week of early voting,” the secretary of state’s office announced.
This mass of Georgians who made it to the ballot box on the first day of voting undermines Abrams’s fear-mongering claim that S.B. 202, the state election-integrity law passed in 2020, would disenfranchise minorities.
Upon the bill’s passage, President Biden joined the chorus of Democrats who predicted that it would suppress the minority vote, calling it “Jim Crow in the 21st Century” and “an atrocity.” Their mischaracterization of the measure eventually drove the MLB to remove its 2021 All-Star game and draft from Atlanta in protest.
With the legislation enacted, Georgia experienced a new record in early turnout in the primaries across all voters — and among black voters specifically. At one point in early voting, the state saw a 217 percent increase over the same period in early voting in the 2018 primary election. Black participation over the last seven presidential elections in Georgia, between 1996 and 2020, has steadily risen, according to a National Review analysis of Georgia election data.
At the Monday night Georgia gubernatorial debate, Abrams doubled down that Kemp’s administration “has assiduously denied access to the right to vote.” He retorted that S.B. 202 has done the opposite of what she claimed it would, adding that in Georgia, “it’ll be easy to vote and harder to cheat.”
Abrams refused to recognize the legitimacy of Kemp’s 2018 reelection victory, arguing that the election-integrity measures his administration put in place swung the election his way, though she now denies that she ever questioned the legitimacy of the election.