Approximately 1.8 million people have voted early in Georgia's Senate runoff race between incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker, in a closely watched race that will greatly influence the power structure in the upper chamber of Congress.
Over 1.8 million ballots were cast before the polls opened on Tuesday, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, with long lines being reported at polling places on Election Day.
The state record for early voting had already been broken by the end of November, when the number of ballots for the runoff had passed the 1 million mark, according to state officials.
"Georgia’s voting system is working well,” said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in a statement last Thursday. “While some counties are seeing more voter turnout than they anticipated, most have found a way to manage voter wait-times, and I appreciate the election officials and workers across Georgia who are doing their level-best to accommodate our record turnout.”
Last month, it was announced that the senatorial race between Warnock and Walker would go to a runoff in December after neither candidate received at least 50% of the vote.
Both Warnock and Walker have garnered much controversy during the campaign season, each facing allegations against their moral characters and claims of hypocrisy.
Warnock, who serves as the lead pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church of Atlanta, faced accusations that his church tried to evict several low-income individuals from an apartment complex that it held majority ownership over.
In October, The Washington Free Beacon published documents backing up the allegations, as the paperwork referred to Warnock as the "principal officer" of the foundation that manages the apartment complex.
The Free Beacon also published a court filing by Warnock's ex-wife, Oulèye Ndoye, which suggested that he "refused to reimburse" her for "childcare expenses for the children" that materialized during periods when he had custody of their children.
In the same month, The Daily Beast published a report with supporting documents accusing the pro-life candidate Walker of paying for his girlfriend's abortion back in 2009.
Walker denied the allegations, dismissing them as a "flat-out lie" and "another repugnant hatchet job from a democrat activist disguised as a reporter." Walker's campaign website also initially claimed that the candidate graduated from the University of Georgia, but then took down the claim when it was challenged by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
If Walker unseats Warnock, then Republicans will split the Senate 50-50 with Democrats. This will hold a slight advantage to Democrats, however, as Democrat Vice President Kamala Harris can serve as tie-breaker for votes.