Georgia set a record on the first day of early voting, with 126,876 voters appearing to vote on October 12, 2020.
Georgia voters can also vote before Election Day. The early voting period runs from October 12 to October 30, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on the location.
On October 12, Georgia saw a big turnout of voters on the first day of early voting. A line started forming up before dawn before doors opened to make sure their ballots would be counted. Voters filled parking lots and lined sidewalks, wrapping around libraries and recreation centers. Poll workers and tech support staff held up lines to fix the check-in tablets rather than issue emergency paper ballots, which are required to be available at every voting location. Walter Jones, a spokesperson for the Georgia Secretary of State's office, said Georgia saw record turnout for early voting because of excitement and enthusiasm for the upcoming election.
Turnout also may have been boosted because it was also Columbus Day and a federal holiday, so some people were off work. Even the pandemic could be a reason for a huge turnout to avoid crowds on the main election day.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the secretary of state’s office said 126,876 voters cast ballots on October 12 and set a record for the first day of early voting.
The start of three weeks of early voting showed how the combination of high turnout and problems with election equipment could also result in problems on a busy Election Day. Early voting (sometimes referred to as advanced voting) helped Georgia voters avoid crowds or find a time to vote that was better for their schedules in the weeks before Election Day.