MACON, Ga. — Georgia's Court of Appeals denied the motion Monday night to delay Saturday early voting ahead of the runoff. Now, it's up to each county to decide whether they'll allow people to vote early this Saturday, November 26.
Some counties are already announcing what they plan to do. With that, we're already seeing a statewide trend on the counties that are and the counties that aren't.
Several historically blue leaning counties which Democrat Incumbent Raphael Warnock had a strong hold of in November have said they plan to start early voting this Saturday.
Meanwhile, many traditionally Republican leaning counties in the state say they will not.
As of now, many metro Atlanta area counties like Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, and Cobb say they will allow Saturday voting. Also, Athens-Clarke County announced Monday they would.
In Central Georgia, Bibb, Baldwin and Macon counties all will start early voting Saturday. These have historically been blue-leaning counties.
Democrat Incumbent Raphael Warnock won Bibb County by 61.3 percent and Macon County by 60 percent.
Baldwin is a flip county that Republican candidate Herschel Walker won by just over half of a percentage point.
But counties that Walker had a strong hold of in Central Georgia like Houston and Jones have already said they will not open Saturday.
With this, University of Georgia political science professor Charles Bullock says this trend could give Warnock the advantage.
"This makes the disparities between where democrats get votes and Republicans get votes even more pronounced if Republican counties don't allow early voting on Saturday," Bullock said.
Bullock says allowing six days to vote early rather than five could give Warnock's base more of a chance to run up their vote totals. He says this is backed by trends in previous special elections.
"Democrats are more likely to make use of this early in-person voting. Republicans are more often to show up on Election Day," Bullock said.
13WMAZ asked Bullock why Republicans tend to cast a ballot on Election Day rather than early. Bullock says the trend is likely influenced in recent years by President Donald Trump's false claims about election integrity.
"Trump's message had been in 2020 and continues over to this year that to be sure your vote is counted and no way tampered with, you better show up on Election Day," Bullock said.
As for how much the court's decision will impact the ending results and which party ends up taking the most advantage out of early voting, we'll just have to see December 6.
Central Georgia counties that will have early Saturday voting:
Central Georgia Counties that won't have early Saturday voting:
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