Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock got to spend time at a small campaign office in Marietta Sunday afternoon. During the day he would make appearances at a church in Decatur and at a home of a canvasser as well. Photo by Donnell Suggs/The Atlanta Voice

MARIETTA, Ga. — The final week of early voting begins Monday but Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) wasted no time trying to get more souls to the polls Sunday. With nearly 1.5 million Georgians having voted early as of Sunday, according to the Secretary of State’s Office, there are still many more voters to speak with before Election Day on November 8. 

Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (center) meets with canvassers in Decatur, Ga. on Sunday, October 30, 2022. (Photo by Donnell Suggs/The Atlanta Voice)

DeKalb County has seen 122,682 early ballots cast thus far, and despite polls favoring Warnock by a few points in some cases and by a single point in others, his campaign hit a few targeted areas of the county in search of more support.

The first stop of the day was at The dReam Center Church of Atlanta in Decatur, where he was invited to speak to congregants about voting early. “Don’t just pray with your lips, part with your legs,” Warnock said to a crowd of nearly 100 congregants about the need to vote before Election Day. He added that “A vote is a lot like a prayer,” a common phrase he has used this election season. 

The Baptist Church continues to be a source of support for the Warnock campaign, particularly in Metro Atlanta, and more specifically in DeKalb and Fulton counties, where 186,726 voters have already cast their votes, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. “There’s this idea that your vote doesn’t really matter,” said The dReam Center Church lead Pastor William Murphy. “There is no we without you, and we have a voice, but you have to express your voice through your vote.”

Nearly 200 congregants at The Dream Center Church of Atlanta stretch their hands in prayer towards Senator Rev. Raphael Warnock during a church service on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022. (Photo by: Donnell Suggs/The Atlanta Voice)

Warnock seized upon his relationship with Murphy and his wife Danielle Murphy, the first assistant pastor to break the ice this morning. He told a story of Pastor Murphy visiting Ebenezer Baptist Church, Warnock’s church home and the former church of both the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his father and brother, and admiring Murphy’s shoes. The pastor would send Warnock a pair of the shoes which Warnock was wearing this morning. “Im wearing the hoes right now,” he said as he picked up the left pant leg of his jeans up to better display the shows. “I was a preacher before I was a senator,” Warnock said. “I’m still a preacher. You don’t have a senator that used to be a preacher, you have a pastor in the Senate.” 

The next stop of the day took Warnock to a small house on Ridgeland Drive, not far from The dReam Center Church. There, a local woman, who did not want to give her name, was hosting a canvassing event. Warnock got out a black SUV and made his way up her driveway to meet the nearly two-dozen people waiting to greet him. 

“Are ya’ll ready to win this election?,” he asked the canvassers. “There’s excitement in the air and a lot of energy on the ground.”

The campaign was scheduled to be in Cobb County later in the afternoon for another canvassing event. More than 114,000 Georgians have voted early in Cobb County, according to data from the Secretary of State’s Office. 

The only Sunday

The day closed in Cobb County at a small campaign canvassing headquarters in Marietta. Cobb County has seen strong early voting turnout with 114,500 early ballots cast through two weeks of early voting. Local support for Warnock will be needed to secure a victory with his opponent Herschel Walker spending a lot of his time campaigning in suburban and rural Georgia. 

This was the one and only Sunday for early voting in Cobb County.

In a crowded small office Warnock greeted a diverse group of supporters and canvassers. “I know that you are doing the work because there’s so very much at stake,” Warnock said. “You never know how important your vote will be.”

Warnock campaign canvasser and phone banker Janis LeMieux. Photo by Donnell Suggs/The Atlanta Voice

One of the canvassers, Janis LeMieux, a resident of Marietta, called the early vote turnout “Vital because even though we have 1.5 million people who have voted there are still things that are happening. The earlier people vote, we have some time to cure any problems that may occur.” 

Warnock added, “When you go to the booth you’ll see my name on the ballot, but that’s not what’s really on the ballot.” He mentioned everything from women’s reproductive rights to health care as what’s really at stake and on the ballot during the 2022 midterms. “We need to keep that going.” 

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...