The final election of the 2022 midterm just concluded moments ago, unless a late-breaking court decision extends poll times in Georgia. At stake is the final seat in the US Senate, which required a runoff between Democrat incumbent Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker. Thus far the polls show Walker trailing, and rainy weather in the Peach State probably didn’t help much either, even if it didn’t necessarily hurt.

Did Walker inspire a big Election Day turnout to get him across the goal line? The field seemed prepped for it. Last month, Metro Atlanta schools planned for remote learning today to facilitate access to voting, although that may be more beneficial to Warnock. As of early this afternoon, wait times were low and no functional issues had yet arisen:

The turnout was massive in early voting, however:

According to Secretary of State Raffensperger, 174,099 absentee ballots have already been accepted. That more than doubles the record for absentees in a midterm runoff.

On the other hand, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported confusion from voters about where to vote. The precinct locations changed from last month in some instances — at least according to Stacey Abrams’ activist group, the New Georgia Project:

Voting rights advocates say lines are moving quickly in Georgia’s runoff for U.S. Senate, but some voters have been hindered by last-minute polling place location changes.

“It’s been a rainy morning, but that doesn’t seem to be slowing voters down,” said Simran Jadavji of the New Georgia Project Action Fund. “Voters were energized and ready to go when the polls open at 7 a.m. So so far lines have been moving smoothly. We haven’t seen many issues yet.”

In the Savannah area, voters were redirected to two new precincts that were moved shortly before election day, according to the New Georgia Project.

Voters have also reported they were unable to see signs, especially at churches and schools, that are meant to inform voters when polling places have been changed, said Stephanie Jackson Ali, policy director for the New Georgia Project.

It’s expected to be a tight finish, but all Georgia voters apparently agree on one thing — they’re ready for this cycle to end. Aren’t we all? One can understand why Georgians in particular feel this way — both sided dumped tens of millions of dollars into advertising in the runoff cycle. TV and radio stations must have looooved that, but their viewers and listeners must be relieved to see an end to the political saturation of the airwaves.

Thanks to our partner Decision Desk HQ, readers can keep track of the ballot counts right here in real time. Don’t expect an early call in this race, especially since the military ballots offer another wrinkle: instant-runoff voting. Anticipating the need for a runoff and the too-tight timeframe for deployed service members to participate, they actually cast ranked-choice ballots in the general election. If it comes down to the military vote — 3,740 ballots — it might take a few days to settle the election. Prepare for a recount if that’s the difference, too.

While you wait, the Ed Morrissey Show podcast has returned! Andrew Malcolm and I review the Twitter, Trump, and Biden issues, plus I have a new SRN/Townhall commentary. Play it while you watch the returns come in!


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