All eyes are on Georgia, where a pair of Senate runoff races Tuesday will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate.
Republican David Perdue takes on Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, while Republican Kelly Loeffler faces Raphael Warnock. Democrats need Ossoff and Warnock to win to give the Senate a 50-50 split, which would mean Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would have the crucial tie-breaking vote to push through Joe Biden’s priorities once he takes office. If just one of the Republican incumbents holds on to their seat, the Senate would remain in GOP control.
Refresh this page often to get the latest information on the Georgia Senate runoff races and other developments.
Raphael Warnock declares victory
No official winner has been announced in either of Georgia’s Senate runoff elections, but that didn’t stop Democrat Raphael Warnock from declaring victory in his race against Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler.
“Georgia, I am honored in the faith that you have shown to me. I promise you this tonight, I am going to the Senate to work for all of Georgia,” Warnock said in a livestream just before 1 a.m. Wednesday.
Warnock leads Loeffler by about 36,000 votes, with Georgia officials saying about 200,000 remain to be counted throughout the state. If Warnock is victorious, he would be the first Black Senator from the state of Georgia and the first Democrat elected to the Senate there in 20 years.
Shortly before Warnock gave his remarks, Loeffler spoke to supporters at a watch party in Atlanta, saying she still has a “path to victory.”
“There are a lot of votes out there, we have a path to victory and we’re staying on it,” Loeffler said at an Election night event.
“This is a game of inches,” she continued. “We’re gonna win this election, and we’re going to save this country. »
— Rebecca Morin and Phillip Bailey
Stacy Abrams: Democrats on ‘strong path’ in Georgia runoffs
Georgia’s runoff election results are still too close to call. But that isn’t stopping Democrats from being optimistic about their chances.
Democrat Stacey Abrams said Tuesday evening that Democrats “are on a strong path,” to win their races.
“With new votes joining the tally, we are on a strong path,” said Abrams, the former minority leader of the state’s House of Representatives and 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee. “But even while we wait for more, let’s celebrate the extraordinary organizers, volunteers, canvassers & tireless groups that haven’t stopped going since Nov. Across our state, we roared. A few miles to go…but well done!
Abrams, who founded Fair Fight, an organization that aims to address voter suppression, helped lead get out to vote efforts in the state ahead of both the general election in November and the runoff elections Tuesday.
Democrats need wins by Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock to get a 50-50 split in the Senate, which would effectively give Democrats control of the chamber since Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would cast tiebreaking votes.
— Rebecca Morin
Warnock surges ahead, Ossoff narrows deficit
In a pair of razor-close runoff elections, Raphael Warnock surged ahead of Kelly Loeffler and Jon Ossoff narrowed David Perdue’s lead to less than 1,000 votes after election officials released a large trove of votes from Democrat-heavy DeKalb County and updates from Fulton County late Tuesday.
Warnock now leads Loeffler, the incumbent Republican senator, by about 26,000 votes. More than 96% of precincts statewide have reported results.
Results are unofficial. Most of the uncounted votes are in metro Atlanta counties, favoring the two Democrats.
— Joey Garrison
Georgia election official: ‘A seesaw the rest of the evening’
Leads in Georgia’s runoff elections could go back and forth throughout the night, a top Georgia election official said late Tuesday, as votes continue to come in from different parts of the state.
« It’s going to be a long night for all the campaigns here, » Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system implementation manager, said. « It could be a seesaw for the rest of the evening. »
As of 10 p.m. ET, the two Republicans – David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler — hold narrow leads over the two Democrats, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.
Much of the uncounted votes are in metro Atlanta counties favoring Democrats as well as absentee ballots that also favor Democrats. Still, Sterling said there are also lots of uncounted likely Republican votes spread over smaller conservative counties in the state.
Sterling said the largest remaining bucket of uncounted votes is in DeKalb County, which Warnock and Ossoff are both leading with about 83% of the vote.
— Joey Garrison
Republicans in rural Georgia see vote as a check on Biden
CALHOUN, Ga. — A visit to her home by a Republican canvasser for candidate David Perdue prompted Deela Sutton of Gordon County to vote on Tuesday in the Georgia runoff elections for U.S. Senate.
“And I was like, ‘Wow!’ I was so impressed by that,” said Sutton, who moved to Gordon County a year ago from Ohio. She said she never saw a canvasser come to her door since she first started voting in the early 1990s — let alone see one travel to a home far out in the country and up a steep hill.
“I even told my mom and made her vote,” Sutton said Tuesday outside the polling site at Belmont Baptist Church in Calhoun. She and her mother picked Perdue and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, they said.
The election has critical stakes for Congress and Democratic President-elect Joe Biden. If Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock beat Perdue and Loffler, the Democrats will have a 51-50 majority in the Senate when the vote of soon-to-be Vice President Kamala Harris is included. Otherwise, the Republicans retain the majority.
Several Republican voters interviewed on Tuesday said they want to keep the Senate in Republican hands to keep a check on Biden and the Democrats who control the House of Representatives.
“This is a big vote, you know, for the whole world. It could change the future,” said Pete Secret after he voted in Atlanta with his son and his daughter for Loeffler and Perdue. “I don’t mind Biden being in it as president, but I just don’t want them to have run-away power to be able to do whatever they want to do and spend more of the taxpayers’ money.”
— Paul Woolverton, Fayetteville Observer
Warnock, Ossoff outperforming Biden in Democratic strongholds
Georgia’s two Democratic Senate candidates are outperforming President-elect Joe Biden’s margins of victory from November in heavily Democratic counties in metro Atlanta, a positive sign for their chances.
Biden won Georgia by making massive gains in suburbs around Atlanta and getting the turnout he needed in predominantly Black counties that make up Atlanta.
Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are so far getting even larger shares of votes in these counties.
In Fulton County, Warnock leads with 75% of the vote and Ossoff has 74.3% with 83% of precincts reporting. Biden won the county in November with 72.6%.
In DeKalb County, Warnock leads with 85.7% of the vote and Ossoff has 84.6% of the vote with 32% of precincts reporting. Biden won DeKalb County in November with 83.1%.
In Clayton County, Warnock leads with 89.2% of the vote and Ossoff has 89.1% of the vote with 82% of precincts reported. Biden won Clayton County in November with 85%.
In Gwinnett County, Warnock leads with 68.4% and Ossoff has 67.7% with 31% of precincts reporting. Biden won Gwinnett County with 58.4%.
In Cobb County, Warnock has 67.4% of the vote and Ossoff has 66.5% of the vote with 30% of precincts reporting. Biden won Cobb County with 56.3%.
— Joey Garrison
Officials expect final results Wednesday morning
All polling locations in Georgia are closed – but that doesn’t mean the winners of the runoff elections will be announced any time soon.
Similar to Election Day, processing votes will take time as there was once again a large number of early mail-in voting and early in-person voting, in addition to day of voting. But unlike the Nov. 3 election, a steady stream of votes are already being counted by counties.
However, officials have said that the results of the election won’t be announced until Wednesday.
“Depends how close it is, but most likely it’ll probably be tomorrow morning. It really depends how many absentee ballots,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told Fox News Tuesday morning.
David Worley, a member of the State Election Board, told The New York Times that if processing goes smoothly, officials will “have a pretty good idea” of who won by 1 a.m. Wednesday.
— Rebecca Morin
Several counties extend voting hours; poll close elsewhere at 7 p.m.
Several counties in Georgia have polling locations that will stay open late because of a judge’s order.
The state is holding two Senate runoff elections on Tuesday, with Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler facing Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican David Perdue going up against Democrat Jon Ossoff.
Gabriel Sterling, a top official with the Georgia secretary of state’s office, says one polling site in Tift County will stay open until 7:40 p.m., 40 minutes past the scheduled statewide closing time of 7 p.m.
He says a location in Chatham County will stay open until 7:33 p.m. and a second location will stay open until 7:35 p.m.
Polling locations in Columbia and Gwinnett counties have been ordered to stay open a few minutes late as well. A handful of other counties have requested, but not yet received, a judicial order for keeping polling locations open late.
— Associated Press
Biden promotes $2,000 checks, vaccinations in urging Georgians to vote for Democrats
In radio interviews Tuesday, President-elect Joe Biden urged Georgians to vote for two Democrats in Senate races that will determine the leadership of the chamber that will determine whether his agenda is adopted.
Biden told WVEE in Atlanta that he would strive to increase the pace of vaccinations against COVID-19 and to reduce the long lines of people waiting for food during the recession. Biden said a Democratic Senate would support $2,000 checks to individuals, which the Republican-led Senate has refused to vote on.
And Biden noted that 75,000 people have received vaccinations in Georgia, but the state has 500,000 doses. Biden said he would deploy the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Guard to set up federal vaccination sites.
“It’s almost criminal in my view,” Biden said of the lack of federal planning. “We can do this, but it costs money.”
Democrats Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock are challenging Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and former Sen. David Perdue, whose term ended Sunday with the new Congress. Voting in the runoff ends Tuesday. Biden and President Donald Trump each campaigned in the state Monday for their candidates. Biden also spoke with WFXE on Tuesday.
WVEE’s host, Kenny Burns, said he couldn’t have imagined food lines during his lifetime before the pandemic. But he commended Biden for choosing Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who would break ties for Biden if Ossoff and Warnock are elected, and for his diverse Cabinet.
“We’re going to get to the polls and vote our Ossoff,” Burns said.
– Bart Jansen
Georgia officials fact-check Trump as he baselessly alleges election irregularities
Top Georgia elections officials fact-checked President Donald Trump on Tuesday as he baselessly alleged election irregularities in the state’s runoffs for U.S. Senate.
After Trump tweeted about faulty machines in Georgia’s 12th Congressional District, Gabriel Sterling, the state’s voting system implementation manager, replied to say the president had “old intel” on a problem that had already been fixed.
“The votes of everyone will be protected and counted,” Sterling said.
And later Tuesday, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, issued a statement declaring the state’s elections to be “running smoothly” with minimal disruptions.
Georgia election official:Trump legal team ‘intentionally misled’ voters on election fraud
Wait times averaged only two minutes, Raffensperger said, adding, whatever the outcome “everyone should be confident in the reliability of the results.”
Raffensperger has sparred with Trump, who tried to pressure Raffensperger in a phone call Saturday to “find” more votes for him, The Washington Post reported.
Georgia’s runoff elections will determine the partisan control of the Senate. Incumbent Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are locked in a tight reelection race against Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively.
– Nicholas Wu
‘Fate of the nation’:Georgia voters to decide control of Senate under shadow of President Trump’s grievances
‘Overrun with misinformation’:Georgia runoff elections are latest battleground for Facebook and Twitter falsehoods