January 4, 2021 - For all of my election numbers geeks, let's get ready for tomorrow's Georgia Senate Runoff elections — and remind ourselves about what we know regarding Chatham County's voting trends in November, and early voting numbers here through last week.

These numbers will give us insight into what we might expect tomorrow, as the nation has its eyes on Georgia, and its heavily Democratic metro areas may decide the outcomes for Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Sen. David Perdue.

The final numbers out of Chatham County for the Nov. 3 General Election for President — after multiple recounts — were that 133,408 ballots were cast here by all methodologies, with Trump receiving 53,232 votes (39.90%) and Biden receiving 78,247 votes (58.65%). Libertarian Jo Jorgensen received only 1,929 votes here, or 1.45% of the total votes cast.  

There were 200,388 registered voters, or a turnout percentage of 66.57% according to the current numbers reported by the Secretary of State’s office as of today.  

Here’s what’s happened in Chatham County in early voting and absentees returned versus the November General Election:

Jan. 5 Runoff Election  

Early Voting

39,509

Absentee Ballots mailed

46,246

Absentee Ballots returned

30,101

November 2020 (General Election)

Early Voting

54,800

Absentee Ballots mailed

56,002

Absentee Ballots returned

41,641

It’s important to remember that there were five fewer early voting days for this runoff election versus the November General Election, and that this is a very high level of voter activity for a runoff. We’ll watch turnout numbers tomorrow by local precinct, as the day moves along.  

On another note, there's something interesting regarding voter registration numbers that hasn't quite been resolved. On Nov. 2, I reported that the Secretary of State's website stated that there were 202,999 registered voters in Chatham County who were eligible to vote in the General Election. Local election officials posted a different figure on the Chatham County election website. And now, the Secretary of State has a different number regarding who was eligible to vote on Nov. 3.

This has nothing to do with the accuracy of votes counted, and let's not add to conspiracy and fraud charges. But, it does show that the updating of databases on voting registration is not perfect — which is the reason for having a Provisional Ballot process, and the reason that elections are not certified for several days until all Provisional Ballots are resolved.

It's also worth noting that as of today, in all of the final election reports on the November election — the votes of which were counted three times — the Secretary of State's website is missing information on the number of eligible registered voters for five counties: Chattahoochee, Hall, Jones, Pike, Screven and Stephens. This effects analysis on the true voter turnout percentage reports, and one wonders if there are still some issues in those mostly heavily Republican counties regarding investigations into valid voters. 

According to these reports, turnout percentage in Chatham County for the November General Election was much lower than a number of metro counties around Atlanta, such as Cobb and Gwinnett. And, across the state, more than 75 of the state’s 154 counties had turnout rates between 70% and 82%. There’s more work to do in Chatham County in voter activism.

So … be sure to vote tomorrow, and we’ll be reporting throughout the day on any election issues and on turnout trends at key Republican and Democratic polling locations in Chatham County.

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