Georgia broke another voting record Monday, as more than 239,000 early voters came out to the polls in a single day to cast their ballots 2022 senate runoff election between incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and GOP challenger Herschel Walker.
Interim Deputy Secretary of State Gabriel Sterling announced that more than 239,160 Georgians voted on Monday, smashing the previous early voting record of more than 233,252 votes in 2018, according to CBS News.
Georgia voters have been particularly animated in this election, despite Democratic warnings that a 2021 voter integrity law signed by incumbent Governor Brian Kemp would disenfranchise millions of voters. Democrats warned the legislation would usher in a new era of “Jim Crow 2.0.” President Joe Biden said it would make that previous era of American history look like “Jim Eagle.”
However, despite those predictions more than two million people voted via early voting and absentee ballots, smashing previous records in the process for the general election.
When asked about that fact and Biden’s previous comments prior to the general election, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre implied that the state’s voting law hampered the ability to vote.
“As you know, I have to be careful. I cannot get into politics from here,” Jean-Pierre said, “The president has been very clear that based on the ‘Big Lie’ there have been a host of anti-voter policies forced on states that challenge America’s fundamental right to vote, the access to voting. So this is against our most basic values, including respect for the law and the constitution.”
Jean-Pierre also claimed that record turnout doesn’t disprove voter suppression.
“Speaking generally of course, but more broadly, high turnout and voter suppression can take place at the same time,” she added. “One doesn’t have to happen on its own. They can be happening at the same time, but I will leave it there without being able to really dig into the politics of this.”
Warnock, the 53-year-old reverend from Atlanta, Georgia, was first elected to the Senate on January 5, 2021, after defeating GOP candidate Kelly Loeffler in a run-off election. Loeffler had been appointed to serve until an election, having replaced the late Johnny Isakson.
As a newcomer into politics, Walker spent much of his campaign tying Warnock to unpopular President Joe Biden and painted the Democrat as a divisive, out-of-touch progressive.
“Senator Warnock believes America is a bad country full of racist people,” Walker said in one ad. “I believe we’re a great country full of generous people. Warnock wants to divide us. I want to bring us together.”
After neither candidate secured more than 50% of the vote on November 8, the race officially moved to a runoff election.
Democrats currently have a 50-49 seat advantage. Polls show that Warnock and Walker are in a virtual dead heat.