Early Voting In GA-06 Special Election: Tuesday was the first day of in-person early voting for the June 20th run-off in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District special election. In the first round of voting in April, Democrat Jon Ossoff failed to hit 50%, while Republican Karen Handel led the field of eleven Republicans. This is just one special election in a non-election year, but it has garnered national attention and broken U.S. House records as the most expensive congressional race ever. The increased attention and resources make good headlines, but are they moving voters to the polls early?
According to analysis from the U.S. Elections Project, 15,480 voters cast ballots either in person or by mail on Tuesday. If this pace continues, there will be more early voters for the June run-off than the 56,459 people who voted early in April. The demographic breakdown today mirrors that of April’s final early vote, with high turnout among white voters, women, and middle-aged voters. Both political parties are seeing high early turnout, with Republicans slightly leading Democrats. In April it took a few weeks for Republicans to catch up to Democrats in the early vote, as more Republican voters held their ballots longer since they had more candidate options to consider.
It’s dangerous to read too much into a single day of early voting, but over the next two weeks, keep an eye on the pace of voting and the demographic and partisan breakdown among early GA-06 voters. It will also be important to look for trends among voters who cast an early ballot for the June run-off even though they did not vote early or vote at all in the April round. That nature of the last group could prove dispositive to the outcome.