Georgia Runoff Will Likely See Delayed Results, Litigation, And Other Drama
Georgia’s January 5th runoff for two US Senate Seats will decide whether Republicans keep the chamber, or cede power to Congressional Democrats – allowing the incoming Biden administration to swiftly execute their agenda.
And thanks to a landslide of absentee voting amid near-record turnout, the special election between Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, and incumbent GOP Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, will likely drag on for days, if not weeks, according to Bloomberg.
In the Nov. 3 contest, the results were so close that it took 10 days before television networks projected that Democrat Joe Biden won Georgia. The state didn’t certify his victory for another week, and it was certified twice more, lastly on Dec. 7.
With the runoff elections expected to be similarly tight, the results are likely to be slow again, leaving control of the U.S. Senate in doubt well into next month. –Bloomberg
“Almost no chance it’s called on election night,” according to political scientist Kerwin Swint of Kennesaw State University.
Bloomberg also predicts that just like the November 3 election, the initial results will swing in favor of the Republicans, with Democrats gaining ground from mail-in and absentee ballots. Notably, former GA gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has bragged that 1.2 million absentee ballots have already been requested.
Meanwhile, Abrams’ sister, Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner, ordered that two Georgia counties reverse their decision to remove 4,000 likely ineligible voters from the rolls.
“We know from the numbers that we’re in a good place; 1.2 million absentee ballots have been requested thus far,” she told CNN‘s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” two weeks ago, adding that 85,000 of them were new voters.
According to the latest figures from the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, over 2.3 million votes have already been cast, including over 802,000 returned absentee ballots and over 1.5 million people voting in person.
“And then here comes the lawyers on horseback,” predicts Democratic political consultant Rick Dent, who worked for former Georgia Senator Zell Miller (D).
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will travel to Savannah on Sunday to campaign on behalf of Ossoff and Warnock, while President-elect Joe Biden will travel to Atlanta on Monday to do the same.
All eyes on the vote
While Democrats gear up for record mail-in and absentee voting, Republicans will be (or at least, should be) keeping a close eye on the contest amid widespread claims of election fraud in Georgia and other states.
“No matter what shenanigans they did in November, we know what they were up to, and now we’re watching,” Perdue said at a Tuesday rally. “And we’re going to do everything we can to make this election in January clear, transparent and fair.”
One official said Tuesday the state hopes counties will have processed all the absentee ballots they receive up to Jan. 5, so that all they need to process on Election Day will be what arrives that day before 7 p.m.
But the official, who asked not to be identified to speak freely, said that most counties had counted all their absentee ballots before the general election on Nov. 3, and it still took days to process the last-minute arrivals.
Swint said that counting process “will probably be at least a few days, and then very likely court challenges after that.” –Bloomberg
“The process will follow whatever course the process must take,” said Ossoff on Tuesday when asked about potential lawsuits surrounding the runoff. “We will see how the process unfolds to make sure every ballot is counted.”
According to Dent, meanwhile, “It’s going to be the election that never ends.”
Wed, 12/30/2020 – 10:45
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