There’s a record number of voters registered in Georgia this year heading into the Nov. 3 general election, meaning a record turnout with long lines at the polls for in-person voting.

Consider these numbers issued by Georgia’s secretary of state Thursday:

Total requests for absentee ballots to date: 1,609,702.

Total absentee ballots accepted by counties to date: 541,396.

In the first half of the day Thursday, 66,241 Georgians had cast votes in-person.

Cobb County is also seeing a large early voter turnout with an average 7,000 people voting in person each day this past week. About 168,000 absentee ballots have been requested with nearly 62,000 turned in as of this writing.

Some might offer these whopping numbers as an excuse not to vote. But before you resign yourself to skipping your obligation, consider what Cobb County voters will find on the Nov. 3 ballot: not one, but two U.S. senators, three congressional seats, six state senators, 15 state representatives, sheriff, county commission chair, two district commissioners, four Cobb school board seats, district attorney, 25 nonpartisan judge seats, and, oh yeah, the top of the ballot is reserved for the Trump/Pence vs. Biden/Harris showdown.

If you don’t vote, you can’t complain. Remember, it is not only a privilege. It is a duty.

President Trump, seeking reelection, is lagging in the polls with only weeks left before voters decide if he will remain in office. (Although remember Hilary Clinton was the predicted victor in 2016.) Georgia’s Republican senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, are both in tight races with Democratic challengers.

Kelly Loeffler was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp to succeed Johnny Isakson, who retired at the end of 2019. The governor’s choice of Loeffler dismayed many Republicans who strongly favored Collins. Now Collins is in the running against Loeffler. Collins became President Trump’s strongest supporter in Congress and at first got his backing for the governor’s appointment. However, Trump has not endorsed either candidate in the fast-approaching Nov. 3 election.

The other U.S. Senate race brought Ivanka Trump, daughter and adviser to the president, to Cobb County to promote Sen. Perdue in trying to fend off the tough challenge from the extremely liberal Democrat Ossoff. The president’s daughter praised her father’s efforts to improve the economy, including the creation of 500,000 manufacturing jobs and a promised 10 million jobs in the next 10 months in addition to his other initiatives including trade deals with Mexico, Canada and China.

Closer to home in the 6th Congressional District, incumbent Lucy McBath is in another tight contest with Karen Handel. This is one of many races that deserve the attention of voters as the Nov. 3 general election draws ever closer with only weeks left before the polls open.

So before you dismiss your vote as being lost in the numbers, bear in mind that the polls for president and U.S. congressional races are showing within the margin of error. Stay home and you could cost your candidate a victory.

It bears repeating that voting is not only a privilege but a duty. So, enjoy your privilege and do your duty. Cast your vote for president, U.S. senators and numerous other key offices, thanks to the freedoms provided by our Constitution.

For those still seeking information on how to vote, the Marietta Daily Journal presents the 2020 Voter Guide in the print Saturday edition and the Sunday E-edition.

Get informed. Then get out and vote!

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