With polling locations closed for the holidays, votes cast in the Jan. 5 runoff plummeted during the second week of early voting in Cobb.

Almost 67,000 people had voted in the runoff in-person through Dec. 23, according to the Cobb elections department’s website — just over half the number of ballots cast two weeks into the general election’s early voting period this fall.

Another 85,734 people have cast absentee ballots ahead of the runoff, down from the roughly 100,000 absentee ballots cast two weeks into the general election’s early voting period.

A total of 152,724 ballots have been cast in the runoff in Cobb.

The runoff election will determine partisan control of the U.S. Senate as well as the race for one seat on the state’s five-member Public Service Commission, which regulates Georgia’s utilities.

Early voting centers were closed Dec. 24, 25 and 26. But fewer days is only partially to blame for lower turnout during the runoff.

Fewer people have been showing up at the polls when they are open. Through two weeks of runoff early voting, Cobb’s five polling locations have averaged 7,443 votes. During the first two weeks of general election early voting, Cobb’s 11 polling locations averaged 9,667 voters.

The numbers are still high for a runoff election. Just over 50,000 people had cast a ballot two weeks into the early voting period ahead of the 2016 general election.

In-person early voting ends Thursday. After the close of early voting, voters can still leave an absentee ballot at one of 16 county ballot drop boxes. The election is Jan. 5.

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