By Tia Lynn Ivey
About 6,500 Morgan County voters have cast their ballots early ahead of the January 5 runoff election, in which Georgia’s two coveted U.S. Senate Seats hang in the balance between Incumbent Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler and Democratic Challengers Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock.
The last chance to cast your ballot early is this week. Early voting ends, Thursday, Dec. 31. Early voting hours til then, are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Morgan County Board of Elections and Registration, located at 434 Hancock Street in Madison.
As of press time on Tuesday, Dec. 29, more than 41 percent of Morgan County’s active voters had already cast their ballots for the consequential runoff election, which has drawn heavily national media attention and big name politicians from both the Republican and Democratic parties coming to Georgia to campaign for their candidates. According to Doran, as of press time on Tuesday, Dec. 29, the election board office has received 1,439 absentee ballots and more than 4,700 people voted in person so far during the early voting window which began on Dec. 14.
“It’s definitely a record,” said Jennifer Doran, elections director for Morgan County, of the runoff turnout thus far. “In 2018, when we had a general runoff election, only 32 percent of Morgan County’s active voters turned out to the polls and that was everything—absentee voting, early voting, and Election Day. “More than 40 percent of Morgan County active voters have already voted and we are expecting a big turnout on election this January 5.”
Runoff elections do not usually spark such high voter participating, but this runoff is a unique case. The two Senate seats at stake in Georgia will not only determine the political fate of Georgia, but the political fate of the entire nation. If the Republican incumbents win to keep their seats, Georgia will continue to be governed by Republicans at the highest state and federal levels. If the Democratic challengers win, Georgia will have two Democratic U.S. Senators for the first time since the late 1990s. If just one of the Republican candidates win, the U.S. Senate will retain it’s Republican majority, albeit it slim. Both Democratic challenges would have to win to split the Senate in half, using Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris to cast tie-breaking votes.
Election Day is Tuesday, January 5. On Election Day, all voters must vote at their assigned polling places. To find out where your polling place is, visit: www.morganga.org/382/Precinct-Polling-Locations. The polls will be open on Tuesday, January 5 from 7 a.m, to 7 p.m.