Senate race in Georgia Warnock vs Walker: When is the runoff and how will voting work?
Neither candidate was able to reach the threshold required by state law, triggering another runoff in the Peach State to decide control of the Senate.
With the vast majority of races in the 2022 midterm elections now called, it looks increasingly like control of the Senate will be decided in a runoff election in Georgia next month.
Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and Trump-endorsed challenger Herschel Walker have fought an incredibly close race and neither has passed the 50% threshold required by state law.
Unlike almost every other state in the country, Georgia requires the winning candidate to have secured at least half of the votes cast to be crowned the winner. In the Senate race a third candidate, libertarian Chase Oliver, picked up around 2% of the vote and neither Warnock nor Walker will make it to the 50%-mark.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has confirmed that the runoff election will take place on Tuesday, 6 December.
Do I need to register to vote again for the Georgia Senate runoff election?
In short, no. For registered voters in Georgia who intend to vote in person there are no additional steps to take ahead of the runoff election.
The length of the runoff race has been shortened by state law, reducing it from nine weeks to four. This means that the deadline for new voters to register for the runoff election has already passed.
The process is slightly different for voters who wish to use an absentee ballot and the online portal to request is already open. Voters have until 28 November to head over to Georgia.gov to apply for an absentee ballot.
Residents can submit the absentee ballot form online, by email, by mail, by fax, or in person and a local election office.
For anyone looking to vote early, Georgia law dictates that all counties must offer early voting by Monday, 28 November at the latest. However in most counties it is thought that the option will be available from 26 November.
Will the Georgia Senate race decide who controls the Senate?
In the 2020 election both of Georgia’s two Senate seats were up for grabs and both went to a runoff race. With all other races called the Democrats needed to win both of Georgia Senate spots to clinch a slim majority in the Upper Chamber and wins for Warnock and Sen. Jon Ossoff secured unified control in Washington.
As of Thursday, 10 November it looks like the Republicans are on track to win 50 seats in the Senate, with the Democrats projected to take 49 in the 100-seat chamber. The remaining seat, the one contested in the Georgia runoff race, will likely decide who controls the Senate.
With the GOP on track to flip the House of Representatives a win in Georgia would almost certainly hand them unified control in Congress and make life very difficult for President Biden over the next two years.
If the incumbent, Warnock, were to win, the Democrats would likely maintain a majority in the Senate and Biden would be better able to pass his legislative agenda.
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