Continued record voter turnout in Georgia following the Biden administration’s lawsuit against the state alleging racist voting practices and the president’s accusation that the system is “Jim Crow 2.0” has at least one Georgia election official looking for an apology from the administration.
“How many turnout records do we have to break before Stacey Abrams and President Biden apologize to Georgia?” Gabriel Sterling, Chief Operating Officer of the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, told Fox News Digital in a statement Friday after his office released numbers showing a continued surge in voting in the Peach State.
The state of Georgia has experienced a record early voting turnout since the first day of early voting began on Monday, Georgia’s Secretary of State Office said in a press release this week.
The press release said that just under 400,000 voters have cast their ballots so far and Wednesday’s total number marks a 63% increase from the same time during the 2018 midterm and is just slightly lower than the three-day total of early voting from the 2020 presidential election.
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(L) President Joe Biden (R) Stacey Abrams
“We’re on track to break records in terms of voter turnout in every category,” the office, led by Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, told Fox News Digital. “In 2018, 223,576 Georgians voted by mail for Governor. So far this year, we’ve received 239,789 requests for absentee ballots, 238,356 have been mailed out. We’ll exceed 2018’s total for mailed-in ballots. So far we’ve been breaking the early vote record set in 2018, and we’re approaching the early vote numbers in 2020.”
Raffensperger’s office noted that presidential years typically have much higher turnout.
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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks to the Buckhead Young Republicans, on May 19, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia
Fox News Digital reached out to the gubernatorial campaign of Stacey Abrams and asked about a potential apology from Abrams and received a statement that said high voter turnout does not invalidate voter suppression allegations.
“High turnout is not synonymous to voter access–rather the power of organizing and the urgency of voters to remove Brian Kemp and his allies’ far-right extremism from their communities,” Jaylen Black, Press Secretary and Spokeswoman for the Abrams campaign told Fox News Digital via email. “The SOS should focus on keeping lines short, preventing our ENet system from crashing again, and empowering voters to access the ballot throughout this election cycle.”
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Democratic Georgia gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams addresses the media following a rally with Asian-American voters in Atlanta, Georgia on October 7, 2022.
Abrams was referencing a temporary crash of the ENet online early voting system that is used to check in voters on Monday.
Raffensperger’s office told Fox News Digital the crash lasted less than ten minutes and serves as another example of the high turnout.
“The e-Net system went down for 8 minutes on the first day to increase the bandwidth needed because of overwhelming demand -due to the record-breaking turnout!” Mike Hassinger, Public Information Officer of Voting and Elections, said in an emailed statement. “Every eligible voter who wants to vote, can vote.”
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Early voter turnout has continued to climb even after the passage of election “interference” bills in some states like Georgia that imposed new restrictions on absentee voting and voter I.D. requirements.
Fox News Digital also reached out to the White House about issuing an apology to Georgia and did not receive a response.
“This is Jim Crow in the 21st Century,” Biden said in March 2021 about an election integrity bill that Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law. “It must end. We have a moral and Constitutional obligation to act.”
Biden added that the legislation was an “attack on the right to vote” containing provisions that “effectively deny the right to vote to countless voters.”
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The Department of Justice told Fox News Digital it has no comment on the lawsuit it filed last year against Georgia.
Georgia also shattered it’s early voting record during the primary season earlier this year.
In September, senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, Hans von Spakovsky, told Fox News Digital that the DOJ’s lawsuit was a “loser” of a case that has been “remarkably unsuccessful” thus far.
The White House and Department of Justice did not comment when approached for comment by Fox News Digital at the time.
Earlier this month, an Obama appointed judge sided with Georgiain a lawsuit filed by a group associated with Abrams challenging the constitutionality of its election practices.
“Judge Jones’ ruling exposes this legal effort for what it really is: a tool wielded by a politician hoping to wrongfully weaponize the legal system to further her own political goals,” Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp said in a statement at the time.