Early voting increased in battleground states for midterm elections

Georgia had a total of 2,504,956 voters cast their ballots before Election Day.

Updated: November 7, 2022 - 11:12pm

Early voting significantly increased this election over the 2018 midterms, including in battleground states, with Georgia breaking its own record for early voting in a midterm election.

More than 40 million people in 47 states have voted prior to Election Day this year, CNN reported.

In Georgia, which had early voting from the fourth Monday before the election until last Friday, there was a total turnout of 2,504,956 voters. Of that number, 2,288,889 voted early in-person, while 216,067 voted absentee.

During the 2020 presidential election, 2,697,822 people voted early in-person, whereas 1,890,364 voted early in-person for the 2018 midterms.

As of Friday, Michigan had 1,291,041 early votes cast, according to data obtained by CNN. This compares to 843,675 early votes cast in the 2018 midterm election. Arizona had 1,229,956 total early votes cast by Thursday, which was actually below the 1,287,169 early votes cast in the 2018 midterm election.

"Republicans are actually turning out more than they have in early voting before," Dr. Kelli Ward, chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party, told "Just the News, No Noise" on Friday.

"We've always been pretty persistent about voting on Election Day, but I can tell you that on Election Day, there is going to be a red wave," she said. "There is going to be record voter turnout across the board, but especially for Republicans. And independents are voting with Republicans. They're tired of this Democrat policy baloney that's been thrust upon them, and so are we."

Laws on early voting vary from state to state. Key provisions in battleground states Arizona, Georgia, and Michigan are highlighted below:

Arizona

  • Absentee voting: No-excuse absentee voting.
  • Mail-in ballot deadline: Ballots must be received by county election officials by 7 p.m. on Election Day. The Arizona secretary of state's office recommends that if a mail-in ballot isn't sent by Nov. 1, then the voter should take it to a ballot drop-off location, drop box, or voting location in their county by 7 p.m. on Election Day.
  • Early ballot processing: County election officials can start counting early ballots immediately upon receipt.
  • Early voting: Begins 27 days before election, ends the Friday before Election Day.
  • Third-party ballot drop-off: A family member, household member, or caregiver may return a voter's absentee ballot. However, it is a felony for anyone outside of those groups to collect a voter's absentee ballot.
  • Election certification: Counties must certify anywhere from 6 to 20 days after Election Day.

Georgia

  • Absentee voting: No-excuse absentee voting.
  • Mail-in ballot deadline: Ballots must be received by the county election office by the time polls close at 7 p.m. on Election Day.
  • Early voting: Begins the fourth Monday prior to Election Day, ends the Friday before Election Day.
  • Third-party ballot drop-off: A voter with a physical disability may have a family member or household member return their absentee ballot. A voter confined to a hospital can vote via an absentee ballot when it is delivered to them by a registrar or absentee ballot clerk, then return it to the official.
  • Election certification: Counties certify the vote counts no later than 5 p.m. on the second Friday after the election, but the date can be extended if needed for the completion of a precertification audit.

Michigan

  • Absentee voting: No-excuse absentee voting.
  • Mail-in ballot deadline: Ballots must be received by the clerk's office or a drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
  • Early ballot processing: The counting of absentee ballots cannot begin until the polls open at 7 a.m. on Election Day.
  • Early voting: In-person absentee voting is permitted during the 40 days before an election and ends the day before Election Day.
  • Third-party ballot drop-off: A family member, household member or election official (if the previous options are not available) may return a voter's absentee ballot.
  • Election certification: Counties must certify results either during or no later than the third week after Election Day.