But after three weeks of early voting ahead of Tuesday’s primary, record-breaking turnout is undercutting predictions that the Georgia Election Integrity Act of 2021 would lead to a falloff in voting. By Friday, the final day of early in-person voting, more than 700,000 Georgians had cast ballots — three times the number in 2018, and higher even than in 2020, a presidential year.
Voting-rights groups and Democrats say they have changed their strategies to mobilize voters under the new rules. In Spalding County, for instance, local activists moved Souls to the Polls to a Saturday, and they defiantly promised that they would work twice as hard if that was what it took to protect voter access.
“It was a direct way to send a message to the Black community that they’re in charge now,” said Elbert Solomon, vice chairman of the county Democratic committee. “But every day we get people walking through the door, White and Black. A lot of people are concerned about their democracy.”