Walton helps Georgia become a leading state for advance voting

By Chris Bridges - the Walton Tribune

Walton County helped Georgia become one of the top states in terms of advance voting in 2022, according to a recent report.

The Peach State ranked second in the nation for early voting last November, according to a new study released by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. The report found that 58% of Georgia voters cast their ballots before Election Day, up from a 48% total from 2018.

“Georgia leads the nation in voter access, election security, and innovation,” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said. “Georgia voters have the confidence that they can cast their ballot easily, and that their vote will count.”

In Walton County, more than 23,000 registered voters cast their ballot during the advancing voting window for the 2022 General Election.

More than 8,000 voted in that year’s primary.

Georgia has been a hotbed of politics, both national and statewide, in recent elections.

Secretary of State Raffensperger refused then-President Donald Trump’s request to “find” enough votes to overturn Georgia’s presidential election results in January 2021. Democrat Joe Biden had carried the state the previous November by 11,779 votes.

Since then, Raffensperger has defended the security and accuracy of Georgia elections and backed innovations to further improve the voting process. He was easily re-elected in 2022.

In May of this year, he announced the state will be conducting “health checks” in all 159 Georgia counties. The health checks will examine election management systems, ballot marking devices, and scanners to verify that the software used in last year’s elections has not been changed.

The new study found that Georgians voted early last year more than any other state except Texas. At the same time, only 6% of Georgia voters cast their ballots through the mail, returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Only about one-third of voters waited until Election Day to cast their ballots in person, which kept lines at the polls short or nonexistent in most precincts.

There will be municipal elections in Walton County in 2023 with the presidential primary set for 2024.

Walton County was a stopping point for many candidates in 2022 including Brian Kemp, Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock.

In the 2020 10th Congressional race, candidates made frequent visits to speak with voters. Republican Mike Collins won that contest.

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