While we’ve been watching mail-in absentees for next Thursday’s Congressional election in Montana, we’ve kept our eye on early voting in Georgia. In-person early voting will not start until May 30th, but voters wishing to do so have requested more mail-in ballots than in the first round (over 14,000 as of yesterday) and have returned over 4300 per the Secretary of State. In the April jungle primary, over 6,000 ballots were cast in this manner. With over four weeks to go in the most contested Congressional fight of the season (and the most expensive Congressional race ever), we may see the total number of mail-ins double from the first round.
Who this favors is impossible to really say. Jon Ossoff won the mail-in vote in a landslide a month ago, but failed to clear 50% even with a strong in-person voting performance due to a heavily Republican election day vote. Democrats were united behind Ossoff, while Republicans were splintered between an absurd number of candidates, and the latter group waited until the very end of the voting period to participate. That is not the case now: Handel has the Republican mantle, so more members of her party will vote early in this round.