When Georgians gather for Thanksgiving, they won’t just be thinking about food and celebration. Conversations of politics could also swirl around the dinner table as the Thanksgiving holiday arrives in the midst of a heated runoff cycle.
“Well, I’ve been trying not to interrupt your Thanksgiving with politics. We got very close. Very close. But we have to go a little further. Are you ready to bring this home? Let’s get it done,” Senator Warnock said Tuesday.
Georgia is no stranger to politics during the holidays. In 2020, when the state experienced two Senate runoffs, the cycle was nine weeks long and divided into Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.
But even with this year’s runoff cycle limited to four weeks, voters are still being asked to vote during the holiday season, prompting many mixed reactions from the voting public.
Cameron Stargell and Peyton Jones are both sophomores studying abroad. But both are back in their native Atlanta for the Thanksgiving holiday and plan to vote in person before heading back to school after the celebrations.
“It’s really difficult but I think it’s really worth having to vote again because I really want Warnock to win. So I think it’s beneficial for us in the long run to do that,” Stargell said.
Both said they were open to any political conversations that might arise at home.
“I feel like you need to talk about this now because the issues that are being voted on aren’t things that you can ignore, so I think it’s important to have those conversations,” Jones said.
Early voting begins nationwide on Monday, November 28; However, counties could choose to hold earlier voting days if they were able to do so.
Douglas County opened polls Tuesday and voters said they were grateful for the choices ahead of the holiday.
“I won’t be in town, so I came before I left,” Alfredia Brennon said. “I’m ready for it to be over. So I’m going to make my vote count because I’m tired of seeing all the news, the commercials and all of that. I’m over it.”
“I hope this is the last time,” said Samuel Wyatt. “Not that it bothers me because when I found out today that we could vote earlier…I said that’s great.”
However, Wyatt said his family probably wouldn’t discuss politics at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
“It’s over. We voted. People ask me, ‘Who are you voting for?’ I say ‘I voted,'” Wyatt said with a laugh.
Both Senate candidates warned voters not to switch off politics altogether over the holiday.
“If you eat on Thursday and shop on Friday, you certainly have a choice on Saturday or Sunday,” Sen. Warnock said.
“There’s a reason Thanksgiving isn’t the Thanksgiving it used to be. Now you’re wondering what you’re going to do on Thanksgiving. You will have either a turkey or a chicken. I don’t mind if you have chicken because I sell chicken, so buy a lot of chicken,” Walker said.
Polling stations will close on Thanksgiving and the day after, but after a judge’s decision to allow Saturday voting in the state before the runoff, a number of counties announced they would close on Saturday, November 26 and November 26 Sunday 26th November would offer early voting. 27