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Georgia's top elections official reports record turnout on first day of early primary voting

Brad Raffensperger said that about 30,000 votes have already been cast so far.

ATLANTA — Georgia saw a record turnout on the first day of early primary voting on Monday, according to Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger.

Raffensperger said in a release that more than 27,000 Georgians voted on the first day of early voting, ahead of the May 24 Primary Day in Georgia.

He said that Monday's turnout nearly doubled the number on the first day of early voting for the primaries in 2020, and tripled the number on the first day in 2018.

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Raffensperger said that more than 2,700 absentee ballots have also been turned in, meaning about 30,000 votes have already been cast so far.

It's not clear how the overall vote total after day one compares to 2020, when many more voters were using absentee ballots due to the onset of the pandemic. The secretary's release did not mention the first-day absentee ballot totals from that year.

In a statement, Raffensperger said the record turnout was a "testament to an elections system that ensures top-level security and ease of access."

Georgia's new election law enacted last year - which instituted an ID requirement for absentee ballots, tightened the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot and limited the use of drop boxes, among other provisions - was met with opposition from liberal voting rights groups who accused it of being fashioned to suppress turnout.

The state's Republican officials, such as Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp, countered that it would instill greater confidence in Georgia's elections following the tumult of 2020.

Raffensperger is himself currently in a primary battle with Rep. Jody Hice, a deeply pro-Trump politician who has declined to run for reelection in Congress in order to campaign against the secretary - targeting him from the right over the 2020 election.