Georgians prepare for politics during Thanksgiving

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(ATLANTA, GA) -- As Georgians gather for Thanksgiving, food and celebration won't be the only things on their mind. Conversations about politics could also swirl around the dinner table as the Thanksgiving holiday arrives in the middle of a heated runoff election cycle.

"Well, I was trying to not have to interrupt your Thanksgiving with politics. We got real close. Very close. But we've got to go a little bit further. Are y'all ready to bring this home? Let's get it done," Sen. Warnock said Tuesday.

Georgia is no stranger to politics during the holidays. In 2020, when the state experienced two Senate runoff races, the cycle was nine weeks long and cut into Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's.

However, even with this year's runoff cycle limited to four weeks, voters are still being asked to go to the polls during the holiday season, which has brought a lot of mixed reactions from the voting public.

Cameron Stargell and Peyton Jones are both sophomore college students studying out-of-state. But both are back in home Atlanta for the Thanksgiving holiday and plan to vote in person before they head back to school after the festivities.

"It's really difficult, but I feel like it's really worth it to like have to vote again because I really do want Warnock to win. So I think it's beneficial for us in the long run to do so," said Stargell.

Both said they're open to the political conversations that might arise while home.

"I feel like you have to talk about it now because the issues that are being voted on are not things you can ignore, so I feel like it's important to have those conversations," said Jones.

Early voting starts statewide on Monday, Nov. 28; however, counties could choose to hold more early voting days if they were able to.

Douglas County opened polls on Tuesday and voters said they were grateful for voting options 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 gonna make my vote count because I'm tired of seeing all the the news, the commercials, all that. I'm over it."

"I hope this is the last time," said Samuel Wyatt. "Not that I mind because when I found out today that we could vote early ... I said that's great."

Wyatt, however, said his family would likely not be discussing politics at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

"It's over. We voted. Folks ask me 'who you vote for?' I say 'I voted.'" Wyatt said with a laugh.

Both Senate candidates cautioned voters not to totally tune out politics for the holidays.

"If you eat on Thursday and shop on Friday, certainly you can vote on Saturday or on Sunday," Sen. Warnock said.

"There's a reason now Thanksgiving is not the Thanksgiving you used to have. Now, you're looking for what are you going to do for Thanksgiving. You're gonna either have a turkey or chicken. I don't mind if you have chicken 'cuz I sell chicken, so buy a lot of chicken," Walker said.

Polls will be closed on Thanksgiving and the day after but, following a judge's ruling that Saturday voting is allowed in the state ahead of the runoff, a slate of counties announced they would offer early voting on Saturday, Nov. 26 and Sunday, Nov. 27.

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