AUGUSTA, GA ( WJBF) — In the last few days of early voting, local faith leaders are coming together to encourage voters to hit the polls ahead of the Senate runoffs.

The ‘Souls to the Polls’ event was held at Cathedral of Praise where Pastor Paul Coppett said its critical to get people out to vote.

” I really wanted to be a part of this to use my voice for my age group and maybe those who are younger than me to to tell them that even in this election its very important that we get out like we did in the presidential election,” Coppett said.

Across the state record numbers of people have hit the polls and in Richmond County more than 14,000 people have already early voted — its a trend faith leaders say they hope to see continue.

” We’ve already seen a three percent uptick of early voting from last season and we want to see that double to maybe even six percent to increase the turnout of the voters,” Barrett Berry said.

The runoffs will determine which party will control the U.S. Senate — its a decision Pastor Barrett Berry said will impact voters for years to come.

“We understand that the decisions for this generation and the next generation will be determined by the outcome of the US Senate race which will have a direct impact on how this current president will govern going forward for the next four years,” Berry said.

Early voting ends on Friday December 31. Election day is January 5.