Capping off an election year so expansive that it went over into 2021, Georgia’s final election day of the 2020 cycle came and went in Polk County without much fanfare Tuesday night as the more than 10,000 ballots cast early or absentee alleviated any long lines at the polls.
Nearly 70% of ballots cast in the statewide runoff elections by Polk County voters were through advanced in-person voting or by absentee ballot, a percentage that helped Tuesday go smoothly with little to no waiting at the county’s seven precincts.
While the battle for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats raged into the night, Polk County voters made their choices clear with Republican incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler winning by wide margins.
Perdue finished with 77.86% of the vote in Polk County, getting 11,486 votes to Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff’s 3,266. Loeffler nearly mirrored Perdue’s margin of victory, getting 77.74% over Raphael Warnock as the Democratic candidate got 3,284 votes to Loeffler’s 11,467.
Statewide, both Republicans held small but solid advantages over their Democratic counterparts at 10 p.m. with about 78% of precincts reporting. Perdue was leading with 50.9%, while Loeffler had 50.52% of the votes.
In the third race decided by Tuesday’s vote, Republican incumbent Lauren “Bubba” McDonald Jr. won Polk County outright with 11,390 votes to Democrat Daniel Blackman’s 3,185 for District 4 Public Service Commissioner.
McDonald was leading statewide with 51.89% of the vote at 10 p.m.
As far as overall turnout, the high-interest in both Senate races led to a record-breaking election for Polk County in terms of runoff elections. A total of 14,780 voters cast ballots, meaning around 57% of Polk County’s active registered voters participated in the election.
In comparison, a little more than 4,200 voted in the Aug. 11, 2020, runoff for state house and senate primaries, which was about 1,600 more than the previous Polk County runoff record set in the 2018 gubernatorial runoff.
Polk County elections officials reported 8,119 people voted in-person during the advance voting period for Tuesday’s runoffs, while 2,093 absentee ballots were returned. The county board of elections is scheduled to gather later this week to officially certify the results and report them to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.