The voting numbers for the state of Georgia tell an interesting story. Let’s start with the positive.
Almost four million people cast votes during Tuesday’s midterm elections.
The exact number, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s website, was 3,930,910. There were 6,428,581 registered voters in the state and while it would have been nice if all of those could have voted, it is an improvement over past midterm elections.
The 2014 midterms had only 2,596,947 ballots cast out of 5,191,182 registered voters, or just a shade above 50 percent.
The 2018 voter totals approached that of the 2016 presidential election which saw 4,165,405 ballots cast among 5,443,046 registered voters — a turnout of 76.5 percent. Usually midterms do not bring as many voters to the poll as a presidential election year does so to see this year’s vote totals approach 2016’s numbers is encouraging.
Even though Election Day has passed, we still don’t officially have a governor yet. There may be legal action on the horizon when it comes to votes counted and votes that weren’t counted, but if the total stands as it is right now, Republican Brian Kemp would narrowly avoid a runoff against Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams.
With the possibility of a recount, Kemp was right to step down as Secretary of State on Thursday. Having a candidate preside over any recounts of an election they are involved in is not a good look.
There will be a runoff for Kemp’s old post. Neither Republican Brad Raffensperger or Democrat John Barrow were able to cross the 50-percent threshold in the Secretary of State race. Raffensperger is at 49.19 percent while Barrow totaled 48.58 percent of the vote.
Those numbers are pretty common when you look down the list in the state races.
Pretty much every statewide race was split between a Republican picking up between 50 and 53 percent of the vote while Democrats got between 49 to 46 percent of the votes.
There is clearly an ideological divide in the state when it comes to politics. Our hope is that those who were elected Tuesday and win elections in runoffs don’t put party ahead of what’s best for all Georgians.
Elected officials don’t just represent the people that voted for them, they represent everyone in the state or district that elected them.
If all sides work together in the spirit of cooperation and put what’s best for Georgia first, then our state will continue to prosper.