BALLOT CHASE – In-person early voting kicks off in Georgia House special: Election Day in the GA-06 special election is three weeks from today, which means in-person early voting sites are opening Tuesday morning across the suburban Atlanta district. Interest in the race is incredibly intense and both parties are making a major push to bank votes for Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff – over 7,200 people already cast absentee ballots by the end of last week, according to Georgia’s voter file. By contrast, fewer than 2,000 people voted by the end of the first day of in-person early voting before the April 18 primary.
– 1,193 of those absentee voters did not vote in the primary, yet have already banked their votes for the two campaigns . Of that group, 339 voted in the GOP primary during the 2016 presidential race, versus 105 who pulled Democratic presidential primary ballots on March 1, 2016. Turnout in round 1 was already near midterm levels – about 193,000 on April 18 compared to 210,000 in November 2014. But both parties are seeking to expand the electorate further in ways that will help them. While Democrats are focusing on thousands of newly registered voters, Republicans have a bigger pool of friendly-looking occasional voters to mine. The Republican analytics firm Optimus Consulting found there were 35,000 voters who cast Republican ballots in the March 2016 presidential primaries but didn’t vote on April 18, versus about 11,000 Democratic primary voters. Indeed, the NRCC has been urging groups involved in GA-06 to target “38,000 high propensity Republicans [who] did not vote on April 18 but are able to vote in June.”
– These relatively small numbers could ultimately make the difference in a tight race. Remember: Ossoff fell 3,612 votes short of winning the seat with a majority in the primary.
“Ossoff raised $6.9M online in April.” Full story.