Polling stations are now open throughout the state of Georgia on what has already been a historic Election Day season. Polls officially opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m.
In Georgia, only 250,000 votes cast on #ElectionDay are needed to break the record for the total number of votes cast in a presidential election.
“Come hell or high water,” said Kristen Clarke, executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “It feels like that has been the attitude voters have needed to make sure their voices are heard this year.”
In addition to the 2020 presidential election, there are two contentious Senate races in the state this year and, after 20 years of reliably Republican support, Georgia is a battleground state that Democrats are trying to flip. It is also a state where racial inequality and voter suppression have been prominent issues in past elections, including a primary election day this season that drew a lot of criticism.
Polling places have been added across the state, new poll workers have been recruited and trained, and a record number of people voted early in person or by absentee ballot in the weeks leading up to Election Day. But the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage, and voter enthusiasm is expected to drive high turnout.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the state’s top elections official, has repeatedly said that he expects to see a total turnout of as many as 5.5 million voters, which would be an increase of about 34 percent from 4.1 million voters in the 2016 election.
“My goal, which we have been working toward since my election, is to provide a smooth, safe, responsible, and sensible voting experience for each and every Georgia voter, regardless of ZIP code,” Raffensperger said during a news conference Monday.
Fulton County alone added 91 polling places, bringing the total from 164 for the primary to 255 for the general election, according to elections director Rick Barron.
Despite the measures being taken to avoid problems on Election Day, Raffensperger warned that there still may be long lines given the expected high turnout, and he urged voters to be patient.
“If you are voting on Tuesday, you will potentially experience lines,” Raffensperger said last week. “This is the reality when millions of people try to do the same thing at once.”