The Gist

Early voting is off to a hot start in Georgia for the 2022 election cycle, tallying more than 254,000 votes about halfway into the three-week voting period ahead of the May 24 primaries.

What’s Happening

Stiff competition in primary races for Georgia governor, secretary of state, lieutenant governor and other statewide offices have spurred thousands more voters to cast early ballots at this point in the early-voting process, compared to major primary elections in recent years.

Early voting so far has drawn more than triple the turnout compared to this point in the 2018 primaries, when Georgia last held a gubernatorial election. Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, edged out Democratic contender Stacey Abrams in a close race that year.

Request an absentee ballot to vote by mail in the 2022 primary by using the the state's online portal at (Credit: Brittney Phan for State Affairs)

Republican ballots have greatly outnumbered Democratic ballots cast so far in the early-voting phase, with more than 146,000 Republican ballots tallied compared to around 106,000 Democratic ballots as of Wednesday morning, according to state elections data.

The gap is likely due to higher-profile contests on the Republican side of the primary ballot, particularly in the races between Kemp and former U.S. Sen. David Perdue for governor, and between current Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and opponent U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, said Charles Bullock, a University of Georgia (UGA) political science professor.

“Early votes are way up this year versus what they were four years ago,” Bullock said. “One thing that gets people to vote is if there’s a contest.”

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