AUGUSTA, Ga. – In Tuesday’s Georgia Senate runoffs, Richmond County showed its blue colors while neighboring Columbia County stayed steadfastly red, according to statistics.
But they had two things in common:
- Voter turnout was high.
- Democrats dominated the mail-in ballots, as they did in the Nov. 3 general election.
Tuesday’s runoff pitted Republican incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler against Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock and Republican incumbent David Perdue against Democrat Jon Ossoff.
All four appeared on the general election ballot but none got a sufficient majority of votes to claim a seat. That focused the nation’s attention on Georgia, as the outcome of the races could determine which party controls the U,S, Senate.
Here’s a look at how the results differed in the Augusta area’s two most populous counties voting in Tuesday’s election:
A reliable Democratic county for years now, Richmond County proved to be that once again. Augusta’s home county delivered heavily for Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.
Warnock received 69.88 percent of the vote while Ossoff garnered a similar 69.69 percent in the county.
Incumbent senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue received 30.12 percent and 30.31 percent, respectively.
But the big takeaway from the county was that more people voted in-person in Richmond County on Jan. 5 than they did during the Nov. 3 election.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown:
Ossoff got 52,932 votes compared to 23,025 for Perdue, while Warnock got 53,102 compared to 22,887 for Loeffler.
Those votes included 10,048 Election Day votes, 4,409 absentee mail-in votes and 8,568 in-person advance votes for Perdue compared to Ossoff’s 12,616 Election Day votes, 18,089 absentee mail-in votes and 22,227 in-person advance votes.
In the other race, the total votes included 9.979 Election Day votes, 4,367 absentee mail-in votes and 8,541 in-person advance votes for Loeffler compared to Warnock’s 12,702 Election Day votes, 18,139 absentee mail-in votes and 22,261 in-person advance votes.
There were no provisional ballots in Richmond County.
The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office reported that 76,097 people cast a ballot out of 138,863 registered voters, a 54.80 percent turnout.
With all in-person, advance and absentee ballots counted in Columbia County, results there showed voters there strongly preferred incumbent Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler over their Democratic challengers, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.
On the flip side of the political coin, Columbia County voters showed up overwhelmingly for the Republican candidates.
Perdue received 63.29 percent of the vote while Loeffler received 63.21 percent.
On the Democratic side, Ossoff received 36.71 percent while Warnock received 36.79 percent.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown:
A report issued late Tuesday by the Columbia County Board of Elections showed Perdue got 45,552 total votes in Columbia County compared to 26,463 for Ossoff.
Loeffler got 45,552 total votes compared to 26,511 for Warnock.
Despite the Republicans’ advantage in the county, the Democrats fared better with mail-in absentee voters, who gave Perdue 5,394 votes compared to 8,444 for Ossoff and Loeffler 5,376 votes compared to 8,453 for Warnock.
In the other two categories of votes — in-person advance voting and in-person Election Day voting — the Republicans far outperformed the Democrats.
There were no provisional votes cast in the county, according to the report.
The county reported a 65.79 percent voter turnout, with 72,185 out of 109,715 voters casting a ballot.