The U.S. Senate runoff election between Republican Herschel Walker and Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock kicked into high gear over the holiday weekend with almost 157,000 voters casting their ballots on Saturday and Sunday.
This figure was later updated to over 181,000 voters across Georgia, shattering state records, according to officials cited by BayNews9. Gabriel Sterling, the chief operating officer in the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, told the outlet that 87,000 voters turned out on Sunday, a 130% increase over the previous record set in 2020.
Voter turnout is “blowing the doors off expectations,” MSNBC Anchor Chris Jansing reported as the election officially kicked off. Twenty-seven counties chose to start receiving votes over the weekend, while others began Monday, according to The Washington Post.
MSNBC Host on GA Senate Race: “Turnout – Extraordinary so far. Nearly 157,000 people voting in person Saturday and Sunday…’Blowing the doors off expectations.'” pic.twitter.com/OO0WKE8qIk
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 28, 2022
Election officials have reportedly said that the lines have been steady, while wait times in Fulton County, Georgia, are up to two hours long, though some polling places have no wait whatsoever. (RELATED: Two Election Employees Fired For Allegedly Shredding Voter Applications In Georgia)
Older voters have reportedly led the charge in the Georgia race, according to Sterling. Voters aged 55-60 cast approximately 23,000 votes, accounting for about 12.6% of the turnout. They were followed closely by the 60-65 age cohort with 22,463 votes or about 12.4%. Younger voters in the 18-24 demographic amounted to about 10% of the turnout with about 18,000 voters.
The racial breakdown of the ballots shows that black voters are leading every other demographic at the polls with 46.3 percent of the turnout compared to white voters with 37.9 percent.
An AARP poll released before the holiday weekend showed Warnock ahead of Walker by a slim 4 percent, less than the margin of error. If Warnock succeeds in fending off Walker, he will break the Senate’s 50-50 deadlock, giving Democrats 51 seats.
The AARP survey also found that 70% of voters feel the country is headed in the wrong direction, 63% are worried about their financial situation and 95% of voters in the 50+ age group are extremely motivated to vote in the runoff.