More than half — 54% — of Fayette‘s voters have already voted by Wednesday

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Nearly 36,000 have voted in person, while 14,000 have turned in absentee ballots — 

As of 1:25 p.m. Wednesday, 50,061 of Fayette County’s 92,405 registered voters have already turned out to vote early, representing 54% of the total registered votes in the county, according to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

“This significant early turnout number tracks with the record turnout seen across Georgia and throughout the country,” said Raffensperger, the state official in charge of elections.

Of the 50,061 ballots cast in Fayette County so far, 14,267 absentee by mail ballots have been returned by mail or through the more than 200 absentee ballot dropboxes that have been installed across the state. The drop boxes were first allowed following a rule passed by the State Election Board, which is chaired by Secretary Raffensperger, earlier this year at the request of county elections officials.

Much of the surge in early voting has come from record early, in-person voting. In Fayette County so far, 35,794 voters have cast ballots early, in-person.

In 2016, Fayette had 73,831 registered voters, and 61,766 — 83.66% — cast ballots for candidates. Four years ago, 53.78% of all voters (39,709) voted in person early before election day, while 25.79% (19,038) voted in person on election day.

In the ensuing four years, the county has seen its registered voter numbers increase by 18,574, a stunning 25% expansion of the voter rolls in Fayette, according to figures from the Secretary of State and the Fayette County Elections Office.

In 2016, only 4% (2,996) of voters used absentee ballots, while so far this election more than four times as many have voted absentee.

For 2020 Fayette voter turnout to match the same percentage as four years ago, another 27,245 voters must vote early in person by Friday, drop off or mail absentee ballots or show up at one of the 36 polling places next Tuesday. Will the 2020 voters match the turnout percentage of the 2016 voters? We will know next Tuesday night.

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[Below is the earlier version of this story.]

With slightly more than 1 week to go, 47% of active voters in Fayette County have already cast ballots, according to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

“This is a significant surge from past years and is part of the record early turnout that Georgia has seen so far ahead of the November elections,” Raffensperger said.

“The record turnout is a testament to the hard work our state and local elections officials are putting in to uphold election access for Georgia voters,” said Raffensperger. “We are setting records every hour. Adjusting to a new voting system or turning on a dime to accommodate a surge in absentee by mail voting would be enough to challenge even the most seasoned elections officials. Doing so with the added complications of Covid-19 has made this effort truly Herculean.”

So far, 43,125 of Fayette County’s 92,394 registered voters have already turned out to vote early, representing 47% of the total registered votes in the county. This significant early turnout number tracks with the record turnout seen across Georgia and throughout the country.

Of the 43,125 ballots cast in Fayette County so far, 12,751 absentee by mail ballots have been returned by mail or through the more than 200 absentee ballot dropboxes that have been installed across the state. The drop boxes were first allowed following a rule passed by the State Election Board, which is chaired by Secretary Raffensperger, earlier this year at the request of county elections officials.

Much of the surge in early voting has come from record early, in-person voting. In Fayette County so far, 30,374 voters have cast ballots early, in-person.

Georgia continues to set records for voter turnout and election participation, seeing the largest increase in average turnout of any other state in the 2018 midterm election and record primary turnout in 2020, with over 1.1 million absentee by mail voters and over 1.2 million in-person voters utilizing Georgia’s new, secure, paper ballot voting system.