After five days of early voting, the number of votes cast has surpassed even the most optimistic expectations. More than a half-million (520,000) votes have been cast in Georgia through a week, according to data from the Secretary of State’s Office. Both Democratic and Republican candidates have to be proud of that level of effort with a little over two weeks of early voting remaining. Day one of early voting had over 120,000 ballots cast and day four, Thursday, Oct. 20, saw more than 122,000 ballots cast. 

One of those candidates, Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock is banking on a large number of those early votes and votes on Election Day, November 8, will continue to come from younger voters. In a recent interview with The Atlanta Voice, Warnock revealed younger voters are a key focus of his campaign. “I have been thinking about young people since my first day in the [U.S.] Senate,” Warnock said. He mentioned pushing for student-debt relief and working to get billions to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). “I have always enjoyed visited colleges.”

Warnock (center) during a rally on the Morehouse College campus Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. Photo submitted by Warnock for Georgia

The Warnock campaign recently held rallies on college campuses; Georgia State University in Atlanta, University of Georgia in Athens, the college town of his senatorial opponent Herschel Walker and most recently on the campus of Warnock’s alma mater Morehouse College, Saturday afternoon. During SpelHouse Homecoming weekend, a combination of Spelman College and Morehouse College annual homecoming celebrations, there are thousands of students making their way to the Atlanta University Center- home of not only Morehouse College and Spelman College, but Clark  Atlanta University, Morris Brown College and the Interdenominational Theological Center and the Morehouse School of Medicine. 

The timing could not be better to drum up enthusiasm for early voting, says Warnock. “I remind those young people that every great movement in this country has included young people,” he said. 

On Saturday Warnock spoke of an effort for young people to vote, speak their minds on topics ranging from reproductive rights to voting rights on campus making its way around campus. “As I move through the campus [today] there’s a lot of energy,” he said. “ I see my job as senator for the people of Georgia is to protect those rights and to make sure that families can thrive.” 

Warnock (in the center of the crowd in this photo) visited Peachtree City Friday afternoon to speak with a much older crowd of voters about voting early. “If you turnout I know how it’s going to turn out,” Warnock said. “If we show up, we win.” Photo by Donnell Suggs/The Atlanta Voice

A day earlier Warnock was in Peachtree City where he talked to an older, more experienced crowd of supporters and voters about the importance of voting early. “Tell everybody that early voting has begun, tell everybody there’s no need in waiting till November 8,” he said to a crowd well over 100 people at a local park. “The issues are too urgent, the stakes are too high and the difference between me and my opponent are clear.” 

Early voting ends Friday November 4.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Donnell began his career covering sports and news in Atlanta nearly two decades ago. Since then he has written for Atlanta Business Chronicle, The Southern Cross...