Five days before the May 2022 Georgia Primary Election, absentee & early voting turnout numbers are nearly double what they were in 2018. The increase may come as a surprise to many, following the passage of SB 202. The controversial ‘Election Integrity act of 2021’ drew nationwide criticism from its opponents, concerned that it would limit voters access to the polls. Those concerns appear to be unfounded however, as data indicates the new rules have had the opposite effect.
The Absentee Ballot Tracker launched by Voter Reference Foundation shows an increase in absentee and early voting.
Part of the law increased the hours and availability of early voting locations, mandating early vote locations be open on two Saturdays during the early voting period, with the option to be open Sunday as well. About 9% of voters have utilized these hours so far, with 55K ballots being issued on a weekend, 44K of which were issued on a Saturday.
Turnout distribution among parties shows a slight change since 2018, with Republicans continuing to represent the majority of GA voters. 56% of early ballots were from Republicans, about a 4% increase from 2018. Democrats made 43% of early ballot requests, about 3% less than 2018.